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ASH 2014 Highlights

Neoplasms of the blood and lymphoid tissue are often classified into the 4 broad categories of leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma, and account for approximately 9% of all cancers. As a group, hematologic malignancies are the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and in women in the economically developed world.
San Francisco, CA—Multiple myeloma is not a single disease entity but has genomic complexity and frequent intraclonal heterogeneity of myeloma cells. This realization, together with the availability of a number of new treatment possibilities, has underscored a need for better disease prognostication and monitoring tools, said Jesús San Miguel, MD, PhD, Professor of Hematology, and Director of Clinical and Translational Medicine, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, in delivering the Ham-Wasserman Lecture at the 2014 American Society of Hematology meeting.
San Francisco, CA—The results of a phase 1b study of the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab (Rituxan) showed encouraging safety and excellent activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Venetoclax will move on to a phase 3 trial comparing venetoclax plus rituximab versus bendamustine (Treanda) plus ri­tuximab in patients with previously treated CLL. The drug is also being studied in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
San Francisco, CA—The checkpoint inhibitors—the anti–CTLA-4 agent ipi­limumab (Yervoy) and the PD-1 blockers nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda)—have shown promise in multiple solid tumors and are showing hints of activity in hematologic malignancies as well. But based on early research, their use in hematology may be more limited.
San Francisco, CA—Most first-line therapies for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) fail, and this failure represents a greater financial burden to patients than was previously estimated by Medicare, according to Christopher R. Cogle, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic in a poster presented at the 2014 American Society of Hematology meeting.
San Francisco, CA—At its 2014 meeting, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) released its second list of 5 common tests, treatments, and procedures to avoid in routine care.
San Francisco, CA—Two programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibitors—the investigational drug nivo­lumab and the recently approved pem­bro­lizumab (Keytruda)—produced dramatic responses in patients with Hodg­kin lymphoma in phase 1 clinical trials. Complete or partial responses were reported by up to 87% of patients who had exhausted other treatment options, providing solid evidence that targeting the immune system can be effective in hematologic malignancies, similar to solid tumors. The data were presented at the 2014 American Society of Hematology meeting.
San Francisco, CA—The results of a phase 1b study of the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab (Rituxan) showed encouraging safety and excellent activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Venetoclax will move on to a phase 3 trial comparing venetoclax plus ri­tuximab versus bendamustine (Treanda) plus rituximab in patients with previously treated CLL. The drug is also being studied in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
San Francisco, CA—The cost of medical innovation, in particular, a fair price for new cancer medicines, is a complex topic that requires urgent attention, said speakers at a special symposium at the 2014 American Society of Hematology meeting. The financial burden imposed by cancer treatments, and how best to reduce this burden without compromising patient outcomes, generated heated exchanges. Some charged that the price tag of new cancer drugs does not match the clinical benefit. Others emphasized the impact on patients as reducing outcomes.
San Francisco, CA—Patients with HIV-­related lymphoma should not be excluded from clinical trials of autologous hematopoietic-cell transplant (AHCT). Moreover, they should be offered AHCT as a standard treatment option, according to the results of a phase 2 trial reported at the 2014 American Society of Hematology meeting.
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  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Lynx CME
  • American Health & Drug Benefits
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Myeloma
  • Value-Based Care in Neurology