Researchers develop genetics-based prognostic tool for MDS

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Micrograph showing MDS
Researchers have developed a new risk model for primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) that integrates genetic and clinical information. The research team considered the current standard for prognostication—the revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R)—to be too complex, limited to newly diagnosed cases, and missing information on mutations and age. So they devised a... [Read Article]
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Sequencing informs prognosis after HSCT in MDS

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HSCT preparation
Photo by Chad McNeeley
Gene sequencing early after transplant may provide important prognostic information in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to a new study. Patients who had disease-associated mutations in the bone marrow 30 days after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) were significantly more likely to experience disease progression and have lower... [Read Article]
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HIF1A could be therapeutic target for MDS

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Lab mouse
The transcription factor HIF1A could be a therapeutic target for “a broad spectrum” of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to researchers. Preclinical experiments indicated that HIF1A fuels the biological processes that cause different types of MDS. Researchers also found that inhibiting HIF1A reversed MDS symptoms and prolonged survival in mouse models of... [Read Article]
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AMP publishes report on DNA variants in CMNs

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Polycythemia vera
Image courtesy of AFIP
A new report addresses the clinical relevance of DNA variants in chronic myeloid neoplasms (CMNs). The report is intended to aid clinical laboratory professionals with the management of most CMNs and the development of high-throughput pan-myeloid sequencing testing panels. The authors list 34 genes they consider “critical” for sequencing... [Read Article]
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Familial risk of myeloid malignancies

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Three generations of
women in a family
A large study has revealed “the strongest evidence yet” supporting genetic susceptibility to myeloid malignancies, according to a researcher. The study showed that first-degree relatives of patients with myeloid malignancies had double the risk of developing a myeloid malignancy themselves, when compared to the general population. The researchers... [Read Article]
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Study could change treatment of MLSM7

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Study authors Tamara
Lamprecht, Jason Schwartz,
Jing Ma, and Jeffrey Klco
Photo from St. Jude
Children’s Research
Hospital/Justin Veneman
New findings could help improve treatment of an inherited bone marrow disorder known as myelodysplasia and leukemia syndrome with monosomy 7 (MLSM7), according to researchers. While studying families affected by MLSM7, researchers identified germline mutations... [Read Article]
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Treatments, disease affect spermatogonia in boys

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Male germinal epithelium
showing spermatogonia,
spermatocytes, spermatids,
and spermatozoa
Image from Dreamstime
Alkylating agents, hydroxyurea (HU), and certain non-malignant diseases can significantly deplete spermatogonial cell counts in young boys, according to research published in Human Reproduction. Boys who received alkylating agents to treat cancer had significantly lower spermatogonial cell counts than control subjects or boys... [Read Article]
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A new use for ibrutinib?

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Neutrophil engulfing bacteria
Image by Volker Brinkmann
Preclinical research suggests ibrutinib could treat G-CSFR-mutant myeloid disorders. “Mutations in G-CSFR have a harmful effect on the production of neutrophils and are reported in patients with several blood disorders, including severe congenital neutropenia, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and acute myeloid leukemia,” said Ken Greis, PhD, of the University... [Read Article]
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FDA lifts hold on trial of MYC inhibitor

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Micrograph showing MDS
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted the clinical hold on a phase 1b trial of APTO-253. APTO-253 is a small molecule that inhibits expression of the c-Myc oncogene without causing general myelosuppression of the bone marrow, according to Aptose Biosciences Inc., the company developing the drug. Aptose was testing... [Read Article]
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Art education benefits blood cancer patients

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Doctor and patient
Photo courtesy of CDC
New research suggests a bedside visual art intervention (BVAI) can reduce pain and anxiety in inpatients with hematologic malignancies, including those undergoing transplant. The BVAI involved an educator teaching patients art technique one-on-one for approximately 30 minutes. After a single session, patients had significant improvements in... [Read Article]
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Drug shows promise for treating AML, MDS

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Lab mouse
Preclinical results support clinical testing of an experimental agent in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to researchers. The agent, ALRN-6924, was shown to combat AML and MDS by restoring activity of the tumor-suppressing protein p53. ALRN-6924 exhibited antileukemic activity in AML cells and mouse models of the disease, as... [Read Article]
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Gene variants linked to survival after HSCT

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DNA helix
Image by Spencer Phillips
New research has revealed a link between rare gene variants and survival after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Researchers performed exome sequencing in nearly 2500 HSCT recipients and their matched, unrelated donors. The sequencing revealed several gene variants—in both donors and recipients—that were significantly associated with overall survival... [Read Article]
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