The challenges of diagnosing CMML

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Micrograph showing CMML
Image by Simon Caulton
Diagnosing chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) remains a challenge in 2018, according to a presentation at Leukemia and Lymphoma: Europe and the USA, Linking Knowledge and Practice. Even with updated World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, karyotyping, and genetic analyses, it can be difficult to distinguish CMML from other conditions,... [Read Article]
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Bacteremic sepsis in ALL tied to neurocognitive dysfunction

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Child with leukemia
Photo by Bill Branson
Bacteremic sepsis during acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment may contribute to neurocognitive dysfunction later in life, results of a cohort study suggest. Pediatric ALL survivors who had sepsis while on treatment performed worse on measures of intelligence, attention, executive function, and processing speed than survivors with... [Read Article]
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Optimizing use of TKIs in CML

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Hagop Kantarjian, MD
Long-term efficacy and toxicity should inform decisions about tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), according to the keynote presenter at Leukemia and Lymphoma: Europe and the USA, Linking Knowledge and Practice. Studies have indicated that long-term survival rates are similar whether CML patients receive frontline treatment with imatinib... [Read Article]
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CDK8 inhibitor can fight AML, though it’s unclear how

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Eliza Majewska, PhD
The CDK8 inhibitor SEL120 has demonstrated preclinical activity against acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the agent’s mechanism of action is still unclear. Researchers found that several AML cell lines were “highly sensitive” to SEL120, and the inhibitor was active in primary patient samples. SEL120 also reduced tumor growth in mouse models... [Read Article]
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Weighing the costs of CAR T-cell therapy

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Tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah)
Photo from Novartis
The cost-effectiveness of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) depends on long-term clinical outcomes, which are presently unknown, according to investigators. If the long-term outcomes are more modest than clinical trials suggest, then payers may be unwilling to cover the costly therapy, reported John K. Lin, MD, of Stanford University, and his colleagues. Lowering... [Read Article]
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Single leukemic cell can contaminate CAR T-cell product

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CAR T cells ready for infusion
Credit: Penn Medicine
Investigators report that a single leukemic cell unintentionally engineered into the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product can mask it from recognition and confer resistance to CAR T-cell therapy. They described the case of a 20-year-old male who received the anti-CD19 CAR tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) and relapsed... [Read Article]
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First NGS assay approved for MRD detection in ALL or MM

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Bone marrow aspirate
Photo by Chad McNeeley
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based assay to be marketed for minimal residual disease (MRD) testing in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or multiple myeloma (MM). The assay, called clonoSEQ®, uses both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and NGS to... [Read Article]
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Blinatumomab approved to treat ALL in Japan

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Vials of blinatumomab powder
and solution for infusion
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved blinatumomab (Blincyto®) for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Blinatumomab is the first and only bispecific T-cell engager immunotherapy construct approved globally. The drug’s approval in Japan... [Read Article]
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CHMP reconsiders new indication for blinatumomab

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Vials of blinatumomab powder
and solution for infusion
Photo courtesy of Amgen
The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) said it will re-examine a recent opinion on blinatumomab (Blincyto). In July, the CHMP recommended against approving blinatumomab to treat patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) who have minimal... [Read Article]
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CHMP backs proposed biosimilars of pegfilgrastim

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Neulasta Onpro Kit
Photo from Amgen
The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended approval for three proposed biosimilars of pegfilgrastim—Ziextenzo, Pelmeg, and Fulphila. If approved by the European Commission (EC), these products would be used for the same indication as the reference medicine, Neulasta (pegfilgrastim). Neulasta has been... [Read Article]
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