Hematologic Cancers

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are somewhat rare chronic hematologic malignancies. There are no known cures, but the disease itself is treatable.

An investigational oral agent targeting the B-cell receptor achieved high rates of remission with little toxicity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to at least 2 previous treatments, according to results from a phase 2 study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

In 2011, the American Cancer Society projected there would be 20,520 cases of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) and 10,610 deaths from the disease that year.1 MM is an incurable hematologic cancer marked by great heterogeneity, in terms of its biology and clinical course. Morbidity and survival rates vary widely, even in the age of novel, molecularly based targeted therapies. Many factors account for differences in prognoses among patients with MM, including genomic aberrations in the plasma cells of the myeloma neoplasm.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of closely related hematologic malignancies that arise from abnormal development and function of the body’s bone marrow cells. Primary myelofibrosis (PMF), polycythemia vera (PV), and essential thrombocythemia (ET) comprise the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative MPNs.1 Myelofibrosis (MF) can arise on its own, which is called PMF, or it can result from the progression of other MPNs, such as postpolycythemia vera MF (PPV-MF) and postessential throm bocythemia MF (PET-MF).1

CHICAGO—Decitabine extends overall survival and improves response rates compared with standard therapies in the treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), said Xavier G. Thomas, MD, PhD.

CHICAGO—Several studies addressed key questions in the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). One evaluated a shorter, more intense rituximab- based regimen, and another evaluated the benefit of autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) in high-risk patients.

With 2 treatment regimens for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma equivalent in their long-term effectiveness, one regimen’s less severe side-effect profile may play a role in treatment choice, according to study results from the Gruppo Italiano di Terapie Innovative nei Linfomi and the Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi.

A combination of fludarabine, pixantrone, dexamethasone, and rituximab (FPD-R) achieved major durable responses in patients with relapsed or refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a single-arm phase 1 dose-escalation study. The study identified a dose of 120 mg/m2pixantrone as the recommended dose for this regimen. The overall response rate with this regimen was 89%, and the regimen was well tolerated with no grade 3/4 cardiovascular adverse events. Grade 3/4 lymphopenia occurred, however, in 89% of patients and leukopenia in 79%.

 

Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receive unnecessarily high-dose levels of chemotherapy, according to Dr Bob Löwenberg, professor of Hematology at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands at the 16th Congress of the European Hematology Association.

 

Treatment with a hybridoma-derived autologous tumor immunoglobulin (Ig) idiotype (Id) vaccine extended disease-free survival (DFS) by 14 months in treatment-naive patients with advanced stage follicular lymphoma achieving complete response (CR) or CR unconfirmed (CRu) after chemotherapy, in a double-blind multicenter controlled phase 3 trial. Subgroup analysis identified that patients with the IgM heavy chain isotype and therefore an IgM-Id vaccine, had greater time to relapse than patient with the IgG isotype and IgG-Id vaccine.

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