January/February 2019, Vol 12, Special Issue: Payers’ Perspectives in Oncology: ASH 2018 Highlights

San Diego, CA—The 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology drew more than 25,000 attendees from across the globe who were seeking information on the rapid pace of progress in hematology. Updates on the panoply of immunotherapies for B-cell malignancies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, and the impressive progress made in the management of multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) were highlighted in the scientific sessions.
San Diego, CA—Patients with relapsed, refractory, or high-risk hematologic malignancies obtained durable benefits with the combined checkpoint inhibition with nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) as consolidation therapy after stem-cell transplant, according to results of a small prospective study presented at ASH 2018.
San Diego, CA—A 2-year duration of combination immunotherapy with ven­etoclax (Venclexta) and rituximab (Ri­tuxan) improved survival compared with standard-of-care chemoimmunotherapy combination with bendamustine (Ben­deka) plus rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to follow-up data from the MURANO clinical trial presented at ASH 2018. Early results were first presented at ASH 2017.
San Diego, CA—An analysis of real-world administrative claims data in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has highlighted the need for treatments that result in fewer adverse events, according to data presented at ASH 2018.
San Diego, CA—Although chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has achieved remarkable long-lasting remissions in B-cell malignancies, in approximately 60% of the cases, the initial response wanes over time because of “immune exhaustion.”
San Diego, CA—A dizzying array of new chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies targeting the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) designed specifically for the treatment of multiple myeloma was presented at ASH 2018. BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell therapies are designed to improve T-cell persistence, depth of response, and tolerability. Response rates reported at ASH 2018 range from 70% to 100%, depending on the patient population and the use of previous regimens.
San Diego, CA—Longer-term follow-up of 2 large pivotal clinical trials in B-cell malignancies has demonstrated continuing remissions after chimeric antigen ­receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy: the ELIANA study in pediatric patients and young adults with relapsed or refractory B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and the JULIET study in adult patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Both updates were presented at a press conference at ASH 2018.
San Diego, CA—Zanubrutinib, a highly specific and irreversible next-generation Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, exhibited excellent activity in a single-arm, open-label multicenter phase 2 clinical trial of patients with relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL). Early study results were reported at ASH 2018.
San Diego, CA—The BCL2 Gly101Val mutation is the first genomic alteration to be identified as responsible for resistance to venetoclax (Venclexta), a potent and effective medication indicated for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The BCL2 Gly101Val mutation is unique to CLL and so far has not been described in other cancers.
San Diego, CA—More than 40% of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with an IDH2 mutation achieved complete remission when treated with the IDH2 inhibitor enasidenib (Idhifa), according to results of a mutation-driven clinical trial substudy presented at ASH 2018.
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