American Society of Hematology Meeting, Atlanta, 10-13 December 2005
George Canellos, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Gordon McVie, European Institute of Oncology, Milan
Pat Price, Christie Hospital, Manchester
Gianni Bonadonna, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan
Producer: Derek Thorne
In this edition:
It is not necessary to use rituximab along with standard CVP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, predinsone) induction therapy among patients with advanced follicular lymphoma. So said Sandra Horning at a packed lymphoma meeting during the ASH confderence. According to the findings of a new study reported to the ASH conference, however, the use of rituximab mainenance, after the induction therapy, brings strong improvements in clinical outcome.
The original IRIS study showing the runaway superiority of imatinib after one year over standard treatment for cronic myeloid leukemia has now been followed up to maturity. John Goldman told the ASH audience the study results strongly endorses the use of imatinib as the gold standard treatment.
Michael Keating told the Atlanta conference that adding rituximab to standard fluydarabine plus cyclophosphamide therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia has helped patients survive longer.
Sandra Horning, Stanford University Medical Center
It is not necessary to use rituximab along with standard CVP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, predinsone) induction therapy in patients with advanced follicular lymphoma. However, the use of rituximab maintenance, after induction therapy, brought clear benefits among patients in the study.
Marinus Van Oers
Marinus Van Oers, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
The use of rituximab as part of both induction and maintenance therapy for relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has now been endorsed.
Philippe Solal-Celigny, Centre Jean Bernard, Le Mans
Rituximab contributed to improvements in clinical outcomes among patients with follicular non Hodgkin’s lymphoma who were treated first line with this immunotherapy combined with standard CVP chemotherapy. But an additional and greater benefit was found among patients randomized to receive further maintenance immunotherapy with rituximab.
Hagop Kantarjian, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Although imatinib brings control to more than 90% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, the drug does not suppress disease in other patients. One of the two leading alternative agents, however, AMN 107, has now given promising responses among patients whose disease evades the effects of imatinib.
Andreas Hochhaus, University of Heidelberg, Manheim
Another tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting the BCR ABL pathway, dasatinib, has also achieved positive results among patients whose chronic myeloid leukemia is resistant or refractory to imatinib.
John Goldman, Imperial College, London
The original IRIS study compared imatinib with the combination of interferon plus cytarabine for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. The runaway superiority of imatinib (noticed after one year) has now confirmed at four years of follow up, strongly endorsing the use of imatinib as the gold standard treatment.
Monica Bocchia, University of Siena, Italy
A vaccine targeting a protein junction of BCR ABL has achieved partial, complete, and even molecular remissions among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, raising hopes of yet another weapon in the armory for patients whose disease is resistant to imatinib.
Richard Schlenk, University of Ulm
The addition of gemtuzumab to a salvage regimen appears to bring benefits among patients with acute myeloid leukemia who have failed other therapies.
Bella Patel, Royal Free Hospital, London
Imatinib has achieved improvements in clinical outcomes among patients with Philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Michael Keating, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Adding rituximab to standard fluydarabine plus cyclophosphamide therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia has helped patients survive longer.
John Gribben, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London
The use of stem cell transplantation, antisense, and the new drug alemtuzumab all bring promise of better outcomes for salvage therapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Ajay Gopal, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
Radioimmunotherapy at myeloablative doses may hold the key to treating patients with lymphoma over the age of 60 who would otherwise be denied transplants on grounds of the treatment being too harsh for their age.
John Pagel, University of Washington, Seattle
Reduced intensity conditioning, sometimes called “mini transplants” offer an option which could safely be used to treat older patients with multiple myeloma.
Meletios Dimopoulos, University of Athens, Greece
58% of patients with heavily pre-treated multiple myeloma responded to a combination of the thalidomide analog lenalidomide combined with the standard drug dexamethazone, as compared with only 22% treated with dexamethazone alone. The study of 700 patients found better response rates and time to progression in the lenalidomide-treated group.