American Society of Hematology, Dec. 9-12

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The 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition

The annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology was held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta and attracted approximately 22,000 participants from around the world, including hematology specialists, researchers, and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems.

In one study, Leslie Kean, M.D., Ph.D., of the Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington, and colleagues found that inclusion of T cell costimulation blockade with abatacept after bone marrow transplant (BMT) may decrease fatal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) while supporting control of leukemia/lymphoma, leading to a significant survival benefit in recipients of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-mismatched unrelated BMT.

"T cell costimulation blockade with abatacept, when added to standard GVHD prophylaxis, makes the following significant improvements in BMT for patients with a 7/8 HLA-matched unrelated donor: (a) Significant decrease in the incidence of early severe (Grade III to IV) acute GVHD after transplant; (b) Increase in overall survival rates for these patients; (c) No increase in relapse, therefore an increase in disease-free survival," Kean said. "This could significantly increase the safety of HLA-mismatched BMT and therefore increase the availability of donors for patients without fully-matched donors in the unrelated donor registry, which could be especially important for minority populations."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of abatacept.

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John Koreth, M.B.B.S., D.Phil., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, cited four abstracts presented at the conference that demonstrate that daily low doses of interleukin-2 are safe and effective in patients who develop chronic GVHD after stem cell transplants.

"We've been using it in the post-transplant setting -- we've treated more than 100 patients in Phase 1 and 2 trials," Koreth said in a statement. "We are reporting on several of these chronic GVHD trials at ASH, including the very dramatic response rates in pediatric patients who have not been helped by standard therapies."

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Two studies utilized sequencing techniques to gain insight into disease progression in multiple myeloma.

In one study, Mark Bustoros, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a genomic analysis of patients with smoldering multiple myeloma.

"Our ultimate goal is to integrate the genomic and clinical data and try to construct a model that can be applied in the clinic, to precisely identify patients who are at high risk of progression, and potentially to offer them earlier treatment," Bustoros said.

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Jens Lohr, M.D., Ph.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues found that cell-free DNA whole exome sequencing successfully identified genetic mutations which correlated with those found in sequencing bone marrow cells.

"We know that myeloma changes all the time, as evidenced by the constant relapses among patients," Lohr said in a statement. "When we follow the patient in real time, we clearly see in the blood how the genetics actually changes when the patient relapses. That means that we get very good information about the changes that happen every time drug resistance develops, which is something that is simply not practical with bone marrow biopsies."

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ASH: Daratumumab Aids Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone, combined with daratumumab is associated with a lower risk of disease progression or death for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for stem-cell transplantation, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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ASH: Oral Edoxaban Noninferior to Dalteparin for CA-Linked VTE

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer-associated venous thromboembolism, oral edoxaban is noninferior to subcutaneous dalteparin for recurrent venous thromboembolism or major bleeding, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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ASH: Anti-CD19 CAR T-Cell Tx Beneficial in B-Cell Lymphomas

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy and autologous T cells that express a CD19-directed CAR (CTL019) are effective for refractory B-cell lymphomas, according to two studies published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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ASH: A+AVD Beats ABVD for Advanced Hodgkin's Lymphoma

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma, brentuximab vedotin, doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (A+AVD) have superior efficacy to doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD), according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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ASH: High-Dose Gene Transfer Beneficial in Severe Hemophilia A

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For men with severe hemophilia A, high-dose factor VIII gene transfer is associated with sustained normalization of factor VIII activity levels, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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ASH: New Approach to Gene Tx Restores Immune Cells in X-SCID

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new approach to gene therapy can restore immune cell types in infants with newly diagnosed X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 9 to 12 in Atlanta.

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