Plenary session at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting, which took place December 1-4 in San Diego, California.

Test proves accurate for sickle cell screening

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Child in Uganda
Photo by Rod Waddington
An inexpensive, rapid, and easy-to-use blood test accurately detected sickle cell disease in young children in Uganda, according to a speaker at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. The test, called HemoTypeSC, uses monoclonal antibodies to detect hemoglobins A, S, and C in a drop of whole blood.... [Read Article]
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Rivaroxaban can reduce VTE in cancer patients

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Rivaroxaban
In the phase 3 CASSINI trial, prophylaxis with rivaroxaban reduced the rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and VTE-related death in high-risk ambulatory cancer patients receiving systemic therapy. The reduction in VTE and related death was not statistically significant in the primary analysis, which included a period of time after treatment had stopped. However,... [Read Article]
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Combo bests standard care in younger CLL patients

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2018 ASH Annual Meeting
©ASH/Scott Morgan 2018
In a phase 3 trial, ibrutinib plus rituximab (IR) improved survival when compared with standard chemoimmunotherapy in patients younger than 70 with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patients who received IR had superior progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival compared to patients who received fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab... [Read Article]
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Preliminary data suggest UCART19 is safe, effective

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Reuben Benjamin, MD, PhD
Photo by Jen Smith
Preliminary data on UCART19—the first off-the-shelf, anti-CD19, allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy—suggest it can produce complete responses (CRs) and minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity, and side effects are manageable. Investigators pooled data from the phase 1 pediatric (PALL) and adult (CALM) trials of UCART19... [Read Article]
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Melflufen-dex proves active in multi-resistant MM

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Paul Richardson, MD
Photo by Jen Smith
The combination of melflufen and dexamethasone demonstrated activity in patients with multi-resistant multiple myeloma (MM) in a phase 2 trial. Melflufen-dexamethasone produced an overall response rate of 33% in patients who had quad- or penta-refractory MM. The combination was considered well tolerated, although 13% of patients discontinued... [Read Article]
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Lymphodepletion improves efficacy of CAR T cells in HL

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Crowd exiting a session at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting
© ASH/Rodney White 2018
A phase 1 study suggests lymphodepletion can improve the efficacy of CD30-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Researchers observed improved responses in HL patients treated with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide prior to CD30.CAR... [Read Article]
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Fludarabine deemed important for CD30.CAR T-cell therapy

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Attendees at ASH 2018
Photo courtesy of ASH
Fludarabine is “very important” for lymphodepletion prior to CD30-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, according to a presentation at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. A phase 1/2 study showed that bendamustine alone was not sufficient as lymphodepletion. However, adding fludarabine to bendamustine could enhance responses... [Read Article]
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MetS after HSCT linked to CV events, second cancers

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Attendees at ASH 2018
Photo courtesy of ASH
Patients who develop metabolic syndrome (MetS) after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) have an increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and second malignancies, according to research presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. Researchers found that HSCT recipients had a higher prevalence of MetS than the... [Read Article]
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Early switch to dasatinib offers clinical benefit to CML patients

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Jorge E. Cortes, MD
Photo by Jen Smith
Early results of the DASCERN trial indicate that patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase who have a suboptimal response to imatinib as a first-line treatment benefit from switching to dasatinib at 3 months. Twenty-nine percent of dasatinib-treated patients achieved a major molecular response... [Read Article]
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Emapalumab found safe, effective in primary HLH

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Outside the San Diego Convention Center, site of the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting
© ASH/Luke Franke 2018
Emapalumab, an interferon gamma-blocking antibody, controls disease activity and has a favorable safety profile in pediatric patients with primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), according to research presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. Investigators believe emapalumab, which was... [Read Article]
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Inhibitor can improve symptoms of systemic mastocytosis

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Jason R. Gotlib, MD
Photo by Jen Smith
The KIT D816V inhibitor avapritinib can improve symptoms of systemic mastocytosis (SM), according to researchers. Patients treated with avapritinib in a phase 1 trial had an overall response rate (ORR) of 83%, a 41% mean reduction in mastocytosis symptoms from baseline, and a 58% mean reduction... [Read Article]
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Algorithm uncovers DS in AML patients on IDH inhibitors

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Kelly J. Norsworthy, MD
Photo by Jen Smith
An algorithm has proven effective for identifying differentiation syndrome (DS) in patients taking ivosidenib or enasidenib, according to a speaker at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that DS is going unnoticed in some patients with acute myeloid... [Read Article]
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Mutation confers resistance to venetoclax in CLL

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Session at ASH 2018
Photo courtesy of ASH
A recurrent mutation in BCL2, the therapeutic target of venetoclax, appears to be a major contributor to drug resistance in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), investigators reported. The mutation has been detected in some patients with CLL up to 2 years before resistance to venetoclax... [Read Article]
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Dasatinib re-challenge feasible as 2nd attempt at TKI discontinuation

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Dennis Kim, MD
Photo by Jen Smith
Preliminary trial results suggest re-treatment with dasatinib is feasible and safe for a second attempt at tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) discontinuation in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients who fail to achieve treatment-free remission (TFR) after discontinuing imatinib. However, investigators reported the rate of second TFR (TFR2) was 21%... [Read Article]
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HU could save millions of lives in Africa, speaker says

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Léon Tshilolo, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of ASH
Daily hydroxyurea (HU) treatment is feasible, safe, and effective for children with sickle cell disease (SCD) in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a phase 1/2 trial. During HU treatment, children experienced less vaso-occlusive pain, fewer cases of malaria and other infections, and lower rates of transfusions and... [Read Article]
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