Publications by authors named "Anas Younes"

289 Publications

ASN007 is a selective ERK1/2 inhibitor with preferential activity against RAS-and RAF-mutant tumors.

Cell Rep Med 2021 Jul 21;2(7):100350. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Asana BioSciences, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA.

Inhibition of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases ERK1 and ERK2 (ERK1/2) offers a promising therapeutic strategy in cancers harboring activated RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathways. Here, we describe an orally bioavailable and selective ERK1/2 inhibitor, ASN007, currently in clinical development for the treatment of cancer. In preclinical studies, ASN007 shows strong antiproliferative activity in tumors harboring mutations in BRAF and RAS (KRAS, NRAS, and HRAS). ASN007 demonstrates activity in a BRAF mutant melanoma tumor model that is resistant to BRAF and MEK inhibitors. The PI3K inhibitor copanlisib enhances the antiproliferative activity of ASN007 both and due to dual inhibition of RAS/MAPK and PI3K survival pathways. Our data provide a rationale for evaluating ASN007 in RAS/RAF-driven tumors as well as a mechanistic basis for combining ASN007 with PI3K inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100350DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324497PMC
July 2021

Older patients (aged ≥60 years) with previously untreated advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma: a detailed analysis from the phase III ECHELON-1 study.

Haematologica 2021 06 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Research and Innovation Department, A Lacassagne Cancer Centre, Nice.

Effective and tolerable treatments are needed for older patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). We report results for older patients with cHL treated in the large phase III ECHELON-1 study of frontline brentuximab vedotin plus doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (A+AVD) versus doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD). Modified progression-free survival (PFS) per independent review facility (IRF) for older versus younger patients (aged ≥60 versus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278438DOI Listing
June 2021

Prophylaxis with intrathecal or high-dose methotrexate in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and high risk of CNS relapse.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Jun 16;11(6):113. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Medicine, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Although methotrexate (MTX) is the most widely used therapy for central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the optimal regimen remains unclear. We examined the efficacy of different prophylactic regimens in 585 patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL and high-risk for CNS relapse, treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) or R-CHOP-like regimens from 2001 to 2017, of whom 295 (50%) received prophylaxis. Intrathecal (IT) MTX was given to 253 (86%) and high-dose MTX (HD-MTX) to 42 (14%). After a median follow-up of 6.8 years, 36 of 585 patients relapsed in the CNS, of whom 14 had received prophylaxis. The CNS relapse risk at 1 year was lower for patients who received prophylaxis than patients who did not: 2% vs. 7.1%. However, the difference became less significant over time (5-year risk 5.6% vs. 7.5%), indicating prophylaxis tended to delay CNS relapse rather than prevent it. Furthermore, the CNS relapse risk was similar in patients who received IT and HD-MTX (5-year risk 5.6% vs. 5.2%). Collectively, our data indicate the benefit of MTX for CNS prophylaxis is transient, highlighting the need for more effective prophylactic regimens. In addition, our results failed to demonstrate a clinical advantage for the HD-MTX regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00506-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209097PMC
June 2021

Brentuximab vedotin with chemotherapy for stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma (ECHELON-1): 5-year update of an international, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Jun;8(6):e410-e421

University of Manchester and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.

Background: Despite advances in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma with the introduction of PET-adapted regimens, practical challenges prevent more widespread use of these approaches. The ECHELON-1 study assessed the safety and efficacy of front-line A+AVD (brentuximab vedotin, doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) versus ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) in patients with stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The primary analysis showed improved modified progression-free survival with A+AVD. We present an updated analysis of ECHELON-1 at 5 years, an important landmark for this patient population.

Methods: ECHELON-1 was an international, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial done at 218 clinical sites, including hospitals, cancer centres, and community clinics, in 21 countries. Previously untreated patients (≥18 years with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of ≤2) with stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive A+AVD (brentuximab vedotin, 1·2 mg/kg of bodyweight, doxorubicin 25 mg/m of body surface area, vinblastine 6 mg/m, and dacarbazine 375 mg/m) or ABVD (doxorubicin 25 mg/m, bleomycin 10 U/m, vinblastine 6 mg/m, and dacarbazine 375 mg/m) intravenously on days 1 and 15 of each 28-day cycle for up to six cycles. Stratification factors included region (Americas vs Europe vs Asia) and International Prognostic Score risk group (low, intermediate, or high risk). The primary endpoint was modified progression-free survival; this 5-year update includes analysis of progression-free survival as per investigator assessment in the intention-to-treat population, which was an exploratory endpoint, although the 5-year analysis was not prespecified in the protocol. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01712490) and EudraCT (2011-005450-60), and is ongoing.

Findings: Between Nov 19, 2012, and Jan 13, 2016, 1334 patients were randomly assigned to receive A+AVD (n=664) or ABVD (n=670). At a median follow-up of 60·9 months (IQR 52·2-67·3), 5-year progression-free survival was 82·2% (95% CI 79·0-85·0) with A+AVD and 75·3% (71·7-78·5) with ABVD (hazard ratio [HR] 0·68 [95% CI 0·53-0·87]; p=0·0017). Among PET-2-negative patients, 5-year progression-free survival was higher with A+AVD than with ABVD (84·9% [95% CI 81·7-87·6] vs 78·9% [75·2-82·1]; HR 0·66 [95% CI 0·50-0·88]; p=0·0035). 5-year progression-free survival for PET-2-positive patients was 60·6% (95% CI 45·0-73·1) with A+AVD versus 45·9% (32·7-58·2) with ABVD (HR 0·70 [95% CI 0·39-1·26]; p=0·23). Peripheral neuropathy continued to improve or resolve over time with both A+AVD (375 [85%] of 443 patients) and ABVD (245 [86%] of 286 patients); more patients had ongoing peripheral neuropathy in the A+AVD group (127 [19%] of 662) than in the ABVD group (59 [9%] of 659). Fewer secondary malignancies were reported with A+AVD (19 [3%] of 662) than with ABVD (29 [4%] of 659). More livebirths were reported in the A+AVD group (n=75) than in the ABVD group (n=50).

Interpretation: With 5 years of follow-up, A+AVD showed robust and durable improvement in progression-free survival versus ABVD, regardless of PET-2 status, and a consistent safety profile. On the basis of these findings, A+AVD should be preferred over ABVD for patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Funding: Millennium Pharmaceuticals (a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company), and Seagen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00102-2DOI Listing
June 2021

Brentuximab Vedotin Combined With Chemotherapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Early-Stage, Unfavorable-Risk Hodgkin Lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 28;39(20):2257-2265. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: To improve curability and limit long-term adverse effects for newly diagnosed early-stage (ES), unfavorable-risk Hodgkin lymphoma.

Methods: In this multicenter study with four sequential cohorts, patients received four cycles of brentuximab vedotin (BV) and doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (AVD). If positron emission tomography (PET)-4-negative, patients received 30-Gy involved-site radiotherapy in cohort 1, 20-Gy involved-site radiotherapy in cohort 2, 30-Gy consolidation-volume radiotherapy in cohort 3, and no radiotherapy in cohort 4. Eligible patients had ES, unfavorable-risk disease. Bulk disease defined by Memorial Sloan Kettering criteria (> 7 cm in maximal transverse or coronal diameter on computed tomography) was not required for cohorts 1 and 2 but was for cohorts 3 and 4. The primary end point was to evaluate safety for cohort 1 and to evaluate complete response rate by PET for cohorts 2-4.

Results: Of the 117 patients enrolled, 116 completed chemotherapy, with the median age of 32 years: 50% men, 98% stage II, 86% Memorial Sloan Kettering-defined disease bulk, 27% traditional bulk (> 10 cm), 52% elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, 21% extranodal involvement, and 56% > 2 involved lymph node sites. The complete response rate in cohorts 1-4 was 93%, 100%, 93%, and 97%, respectively. With median follow-up of 3.8 years (5.9, 4.5, 2.5, and 2.2 years for cohorts 1-4), the overall 2-year progression-free and overall survival were 94% and 99%, respectively. In cohorts 1-4, the 2-year progression-free survival was 93%, 97%, 90%, and 97%, respectively. Adverse events included neutropenia (44%), febrile neutropenia (8%), and peripheral neuropathy (54%), which was largely reversible.

Conclusion: BV + AVD × four cycles is a highly active and well-tolerated treatment program for ES, unfavorable-risk Hodgkin lymphoma, including bulky disease. The efficacy of BV + AVD supports the safe reduction or elimination of consolidative radiation among PET-4-negative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00108DOI Listing
July 2021

OncoTree: A Cancer Classification System for Precision Oncology.

JCO Clin Cancer Inform 2021 02;5:221-230

Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: Cancer classification is foundational for patient care and oncology research. Systems such as International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O), Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT), and National Cancer Institute Thesaurus (NCIt) provide large sets of cancer classification terminologies but they lack a dynamic modernized cancer classification platform that addresses the fast-evolving needs in clinical reporting of genomic sequencing results and associated oncology research.

Methods: To meet these needs, we have developed OncoTree, an open-source cancer classification system. It is maintained by a cross-institutional committee of oncologists, pathologists, scientists, and engineers, accessible via an open-source Web user interface and an application programming interface.

Results: OncoTree currently includes 868 tumor types across 32 organ sites. OncoTree has been adopted as the tumor classification system for American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE), a large genomic and clinical data-sharing consortium, and for clinical molecular testing efforts at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It is also used by precision oncology tools such as OncoKB and cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics.

Conclusion: OncoTree is a dynamic and flexible community-driven cancer classification platform encompassing rare and common cancers that provides clinically relevant and appropriately granular cancer classification for clinical decision support systems and oncology research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/CCI.20.00108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240791PMC
February 2021

Active surveillance of primary extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue.

Blood Adv 2021 01;5(2):345-351

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Although patients with bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) lymphoma show an indolent clinical course, appropriate disease management at diagnosis is not well defined. This study aimed to compare 3 treatment strategies for patients with BALT lymphoma: active surveillance, systemic chemotherapy or immunotherapy at diagnosis, or complete surgical resection at diagnosis. We conducted a retrospective study of all patients with new diagnoses of marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) involving the lung who were treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between 1995 and 2017. Primary BALT lymphoma was defined as disease confined to the lungs and adjacent lymph nodes. Active surveillance was defined as a documented observation plan and ≥3 months of follow-up before initiating treatment. Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were compared between treatment groups. We reviewed 200 consecutive patients with MZL involving the lung; 123 met the inclusion criteria and were managed by active surveillance (47%), complete surgical resection (41%), or systemic chemotherapy or immunotherapy (11%). With a median follow-up of >60 months, surgical resection was associated with a superior EFS compared with active surveillance and systemic treatment (6-year EFS: 74% vs 65% vs 62%, respectively; P = .013). Larger lesions and thrombocytopenia were associated with shorter EFS. All groups had excellent OS at 6 years (93%), albeit with a slight superiority for surgical resection (100%) over active surveillance (91%) and systemic treatment (76%) (P = .024). BALT lymphoma is an indolent disease that can often be managed expectantly and not require therapy for many years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7839366PMC
January 2021

Biomarkers of response to ibrutinib plus nivolumab in relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, or Richter's transformation.

Transl Oncol 2021 Jan 6;14(1):100977. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

Oncology Translational Research, Janssen Research & Development, Spring House, PA 19477, United States. Electronic address:

We analyzed potential biomarkers of response to ibrutinib plus nivolumab in biopsies from patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL), and Richter's transformation (RT) from the LYM1002 phase I/IIa study, using programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry, whole exome sequencing (WES), and gene expression profiling (GEP). In DLBCL, PD-L1 elevation was more frequent in responders versus nonresponders (5/8 [62.5%] vs. 3/16 [18.8%]; p = 0.065; complete response 37.5% vs. 0%; p = 0.028). Overall response rates for patients with WES and GEP data, respectively, were: DLBCL (38.5% and 29.6%); FL (46.2% and 43.5%); RT (76.5% and 81.3%). In DLBCL, WES analyses demonstrated that mutations in RNF213 (40.0% vs. 6.2%; p = 0.055), KLHL14 (30.0% vs. 0%; p = 0.046), and LRP1B (30.0% vs. 6.2%; p = 0.264) were more frequent in responders. No responders had mutations in EBF1, ADAMTS20, AKAP9, TP53, MYD88, or TNFRSF14, while the frequency of these mutations in nonresponders ranged from 12.5% to 18.8%. In FL and RT, genes with different mutation frequencies in responders versus nonresponders were: BCL2 (75.0% vs. 28.6%; p = 0.047) and ROS1 (0% vs. 50.0%; p = 0.044), respectively. Per GEP, the most upregulated genes in responders were LEF1 and BTLA (overall), and CRTAM (germinal center B-cell-like DLBCL). Enriched pathways were related to immune activation in responders and resistance-associated proliferation/replication in nonresponders. This preliminary work may help to generate hypotheses regarding genetically defined subsets of DLBCL, FL, and RT patients most likely to benefit from ibrutinib plus nivolumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723809PMC
January 2021

Activity of ibrutinib plus R-CHOP in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: Response, pharmacodynamic, and biomarker analyses of a phase Ib study.

Cancer Treat Res Commun 2020 1;25:100235. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Janssen Research & Development, 1400 McKean Road, Spring House, PA 19477, United States. Electronic address:

Introduction: This unplanned post-hoc analysis was based on data from the phase Ib DBL1002 study (NCT01569750) and evaluated the association between molecular biomarkers and clinical response to combined treatment with ibrutinib plus rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) subtypes.

Methods: DLBCL subtyping was conducted using immunohistochemistry. Next-generation sequencing using immunoglobulin H primers assessed minimal residual disease (MRD). A quantitative assay evaluated Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) occupancy by ibrutinib in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Targeted DNA sequencing examined genetic variants by DLBCL subtype. Secreted protein expression was evaluated with a SomaLogic analyte panel.

Results: Among 21 patients with DLBCL (median age 53.5 years), 17 achieved a complete response (CR) and 4 a partial response (PR). Of the 11 subtyped patients, 9 had a CR (5/7 germinal center B-cell-like [GCB] and 4/4 non-GCB) and 2 had a PR (both GCB). Nine of 12 patients tested for MRD achieved early (cycle 2 day 1) MRD negativity; most had a CR. There was near-complete BTK occupancy at 4 h postdose. Mutation analysis (n = 19) revealed variants including CREBBP, KMT2D, LRP1B, BCL2, and TNFRSF14; only 1 CD79B and TP53 each; no CARD11 or MYD88.

Conclusions: In this study, first-line ibrutinib plus R-CHOP benefited patients with DLBCL, with good overall response rate and early MRD negativity. With a caveat of small sample size, our results showed that a favorable genetic profile and younger patient age may be important to beneficial clinical outcome with ibrutinib plus R-CHOP in DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctarc.2020.100235DOI Listing
November 2020

Tumor-targeted nanoparticles improve the therapeutic index of BCL2 and MCL1 dual inhibition.

Blood 2021 Apr;137(15):2057-2069

Department of Medicine.

Cancer and normal cells use multiple antiapoptotic BCL2 proteins to prevent cell death. Therapeutic targeting of multiple BCL2 family proteins enhances tumor killing but is also associated with increased systemic toxicity. Here, we demonstrate that the dual targeting of MCL1 and BCL2 proteins using the small molecules S63845 and venetoclax induces durable remissions in mice that harbor human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) tumors but is accompanied by hematologic toxicity and weight loss. To mitigate these toxicities, we encapsulated S63845 or venetoclax into nanoparticles that target P-selectin, which is enriched in tumor endothelial cells. In vivo and ex vivo imaging demonstrated preferential targeting of the nanoparticles to lymphoma tumors over vital organs. Mass spectrometry analyses after administration of nanoparticle drugs confirmed tumor enrichment of the drug while reducing plasma levels. Furthermore, nanoparticle encapsulation allowed 3.5- to 6.5-fold reduction in drug dose, induced sustained remissions, and minimized toxicity. Our results support the development of nanoparticles to deliver BH3 mimetic combinations in lymphoma and in general for toxic drugs in cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057264PMC
April 2021

Outcomes in patients with DLBCL treated with commercial CAR T cells compared with alternate therapies.

Blood Adv 2020 10;4(19):4669-4678

Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

The prognosis of patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is poor. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has been approved for R/R DLBCL after 2 prior lines of therapy based on data from single-arm phase 2 trials, with complete responses (CRs) in 40% to 60% of patients. However, a direct comparison with other treatments is not available and, moreover, its true efficacy in real-world patients is unknown. In this single center, retrospective, observational study of 215 patients, we compared outcomes in patients treated with CAR T-cell therapy (n = 69) with a historical population treated with alternate therapies (n = 146). Patients treated with CAR T cell vs alternate therapies demonstrated a CR rate of 52% vs 22% (P < .001), median progression-free survival (PFS) of 5.2 vs 2.3 months (P = .01), and median overall survival (OS) of 19.3 vs 6.5 months (P = .006), and this advantage appeared to persist irrespective of the number of lines of prior therapy. After adjusting for unfavorable pretreatment disease characteristics, superior overall response rate in the CAR T cohort remained significant; however, differences in PFS and OS between cohorts did not. In addition, patients who responded to alternate therapies demonstrated prolonged remissions comparable to those who responded to CAR T therapy. We contend that in select clinical scenarios alternate therapies may be as efficacious as CAR T therapy; thus, additional study is warranted, ideally with randomized prospective trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556134PMC
October 2020

Primary prophylaxis with G-CSF may improve outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed stage III/IV Hodgkin lymphoma treated with brentuximab vedotin plus chemotherapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 12 25;61(12):2931-2938. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Research and Clinical Innovation, Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center, Nice, France.

We investigate the impact of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) primary prophylaxis (G-PP,  = 83) versus no G-PP ( = 579) on safety and efficacy of brentuximab vedotin plus doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (A + AVD) in the ECHELON-1 study of previously untreated stage III/IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma. G-PP was associated with lower incidence of ≥ grade 3 neutropenia (29% versus 70%) and febrile neutropenia (11% versus 21%). Fewer dose delays (35% versus 49%), reductions (20% versus 26%), and hospitalizations (29% versus 38%) were observed. Seven neutropenia-associated deaths occurred in the A + AVD arm; none received G-PP. A + AVD with G-PP was associated with decreased risk of a modified progression-free survival event by 26% compared with A + AVD alone (95% CI: 0.40-1.37). G-PP reduced the rate and severity of adverse events, including febrile neutropenia, reduced treatment delays, dose reductions, and discontinuations, and may thus improve efficacy outcomes. These data support G-PP for all patients treated with A + AVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1791846DOI Listing
December 2020

Special Statement.

Authors:
Anas Younes

Cancer J 2020 Jul/Aug;26(4):335

From the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000467DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinical characteristics and outcomes of extranodal stage I diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era.

Blood 2021 01;137(1):39-48

Lymphoma Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

This retrospective study aimed to better define the characteristics and outcomes of extranodal stage I diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in the rituximab era. Patients diagnosed with stage I DLBCL from 2001 to 2015 treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone (R-CHOP) or R-CHOP-like regimens with or without radiation (RT) were included. We identified 1955 patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL, of whom 341 had stage I and were eligible for this analysis. Extranodal presentation was observed in 224 (66%) patients, whereas 117 (34%) had nodal involvement. The most common extranodal sites were as follows: bone, 21%; stomach, 19%; testis, 9%; intestine, 8%; breast, 8%. Overall, 69% extranodal patients and 68% nodal patients received RT. Median follow-up was 5.5 years (interquartile range, 4.3-8.2). Ten-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival were 77% (95% confidence interval [CI], 67%-83%) and 77% (95% CI, 68%-85%). In the multivariable analyses, extranodal involvement was associated with worse OS (hazard ratio [HR], 3.44; 95% CI, 1.05-11.30) and progression-free survival (PFS; HR, 3.25; 95% CI, 1.08-9.72) compared with nodal involvement. Consolidation RT was associated with better OS (HR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.12-0.49) and PFS (HR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.18-0.69) in the extranodal population; however, the benefit was no longer observed in patients that were positron emission tomography (PET) negative at the end of immunochemotherapy. Relapses occurred usually late (median, 37 months), and the most common sites were the lymph nodes (31%) and the central nervous system (27%). Extranodal stage I DLBCL had a worse outcome than nodal stage 1 DLBCL. End of immunochemotherapy PET results may help select extranodal patients for consolidation RT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020005112DOI Listing
January 2021

Extra copies of MYC, BCL2, and BCL6 and outcome in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 07;4(14):3382-3390

Department of Medicine.

High-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL) with translocations involving MYC and BCL2 or BCL6 comprises ∼10% of cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and carries a poor prognosis. The incidence, prognosis, and optimal therapy for DLBCL harboring extra copies of the genes MYC, BCL2, and BCL6, rather than their genetic translocations, are unknown. In this retrospective, single-center study we identified 144 DLBCL cases including 46 patients with classic HGBL with double-hit or triple-hit chromosomal translocations (DHL), 55 with extra copies of MYC in addition to aberrations (extra copies or translocations) of BCL2 and/or BCL6 but did not meet the criteria for HGBL (EC group), and 43 without any aberrations of MYC, BCL2, or BCL6 (wild type [WT]). Unfavorable baseline characteristics had similar frequency in the EC and WT groups, but were significantly more prevalent in the DHL group. With a median follow-up of 36 months, the 2-year event-free survival (EFS) was similar between the WT and EC groups at 77% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65-90) and 82% (95% CI, 72-93), respectively. In contrast, the 2-year EFS of the DHL group was 63% (95% CI, 51-79). The 2-year overall survival in the WT, EC, and DHL groups was 86% (95% CI, 76-97), 89% (95% CI, 81-98), and 74% (95% CI, 62-88), respectively. Among patients treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone), the EC group had outcomes similar to those of the WT group. Our results indicate that patients with DLBCL with extra gene copies of MYC, BCL2, and BCL6 fare differently from those with HGBL and respond well to standard R-CHOP therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391142PMC
July 2020

Follicular lymphoma in the modern era: survival, treatment outcomes, and identification of high-risk subgroups.

Blood Cancer J 2020 07 17;10(7):74. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Medicine, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) frequently require multiple treatments during their disease course; however, survival based on lines of treatment remains poorly described in the post-rituximab era. Also, the Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) score was developed to predict survival at diagnosis, yet it remains unknown whether increase in FLIPI score following an initial observation period is associated with less-favorable outcomes. To address these knowledge gaps, we retrospectively studied 1088 patients with FL grade 1-3A managed between 1998 and 2009 at our institution. Median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) after first-line treatment were not reached and 4.73 years, respectively. Following successive lines of treatment, years of median OS and PFS were, respectively: after second-line, 11.7 and 1.5; third-line, 8.8 and 1.1; fourth-line, 5.3 and 0.9; fifth-line, 3.1 and 0.6; sixth-line, 1.9 and 0.5. In initially observed, subsequently treated patients, FLIPI score increase after observation was associated with inferior survival following first-line treatment. The reduced survival we observed after second-line and later therapy supports the development of new treatments for relapsed patients and benchmarks historical targets for clinical endpoints. This study also highlights the utility of changes in FLIPI score at diagnosis and after observation in identifying patients likely to have worse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00340-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7366724PMC
July 2020

Time from diagnosis to 2nd treatment is a promising surrogate for overall survival in patients with advanced stage follicular lymphoma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 12 15;61(12):2939-2946. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

It is difficult to demonstrate an overall survival (OS) benefit in trials of immediate therapy vs observation in follicular lymphoma (FL). (TT2T) may be a preferred endpoint. We identified 584 consecutive patients at our institution with advanced stage FL grade 1-3 A for whom intention was observation ( = 248) or therapy ( = 338). Median time to 1st treatment (TT1T), TT2T, and OS were estimated (subdistribution function). Modified Kendall's tau (mKτ) was used to assess correlation between survival endpoints. Among initially observed patients, median TT1T was 3.3 years, TT2T was 12.1 years, 10-year treatment-free survival was 23%, and 10-year OS was 82%. TT2T was strongly correlated with OS following initial observation (mKτ 0.46,  = .004) or therapy (mKτ 0.53,  < .0001), while duration of observation was not. TT2T is a potential surrogate for OS. Given the outstanding survival in this population, early intervention trials should focus on identifying high risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1791850DOI Listing
December 2020

Introduction by the Guest Editor.

Authors:
Anas Younes

Cancer J 2020 May/Jun;26(3):175

From the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000454DOI Listing
May 2021

The Cantera: An Epic Learning Ring Cycle for Young Haematologists.

Authors:
Anas Younes

Hemasphere 2019 Dec 29;3(6):e294. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6924550PMC
December 2019

Brentuximab vedotin with chemotherapy for stage III/IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma: 3-year update of the ECHELON-1 study.

Blood 2020 03;135(10):735-742

Research and Clinical Innovation, Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Centre, Nice, France.

The phase 3 ECHELON-1 study demonstrated that brentuximab vedotin (A) with doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (AVD; A+AVD) exhibited superior modified progression-free survival (PFS) vs doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) for frontline treatment of patients with stage III/IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Maturing positron emission tomography (PET)-adapted trial data highlight potential limitations of PET-adapted approaches, including toxicities with dose intensification and higher-than-expected relapse rates in PET scan after cycle 2 (PET2)-negative (PET2-) patients. We present an update of the ECHELON-1 study, including an exploratory analysis of 3-year PFS per investigator. A total of 1334 patients with stage III or IV cHL were randomized 1:1 to receive 6 cycles of A+AVD (n = 664) or ABVD (n = 670). Interim PET2 was required. At median follow-up of 37 months, 3-year PFS rates were 83.1% with A+AVD and 76.0% with ABVD; 3-year PFS rates in PET2- patients aged <60 years were 87.2% vs 81.0%, respectively. A beneficial trend in PET2+ patients aged <60 years on A+AVD was also observed, with a 3-year PFS rate of 69.2% vs 54.7% with ABVD. The benefit of A+AVD in the intent-to-treat population appeared independent of disease stage and prognostic risk factors. Upon continued follow-up, 78% of patients with peripheral neuropathy on A+AVD had either complete resolution or improvement compared with 83% on ABVD. These data highlight that A+AVD provides a durable efficacy benefit compared with ABVD for frontline stage III/IV cHL, consistent across key subgroups regardless of patient status at PET2, without need for treatment intensification or bleomycin exposure. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01712490 (EudraCT no. 2011-005450-60).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019003127DOI Listing
March 2020

Positron-emission tomography-based staging reduces the prognostic impact of early disease progression in patients with follicular lymphoma.

Eur J Cancer 2020 02 8;126:78-90. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Department of Medicine, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Previous studies reported that early progression of disease (POD) after initial therapy predicted poor overall survival (OS) in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL). Here, we investigated whether pre-treatment imaging modality had an impact on prognostic significance of POD.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we identified 1088 patients with grade I-IIIA FL; of whom, 238 patients with stage II-IV disease were initially treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (R-CHOP), and 346 patients were treated with rituximab-based chemotherapy. Patients (N = 484) from the FOLL05 study served as an independent validation cohort. We risk-stratified patients based on pre-treatment radiographic imaging (positron-emission tomography [PET] versus computed tomography [CT]) and early POD status using event-defining and landmark analyses. A competing risk analysis evaluated the association between early POD and histologic transformation.

Results: In the discovery cohort, patients with POD within 24 months (PFS24) of initiating R-CHOP therapy had a 5-year OS of 57.6% for CT-staged patients compared with 70.6% for PET-staged patients. In the validation cohort, the 5-year OS for patients with early POD was 53.9% and 100% in CT- and PET-staged patients, respectively. The risk of histologic transformation in patients whose disease progressed within one year of initiating therapy was higher in CT-staged patients than in PET-staged patients (16.7% versus 6.3%, respectively), which was associated with a 9.7-fold higher risk of death.

Conclusion: In FL, pre-treatment PET staging reduced the prognostic impact of early POD compared with CT staging. Patients with early POD and no histologic transformation have an extended OS with standard therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.12.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331469PMC
February 2020

Selective Inhibition of HDAC3 Targets Synthetic Vulnerabilities and Activates Immune Surveillance in Lymphoma.

Cancer Discov 2020 03 8;10(3):440-459. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

mutations are highly recurrent in B-cell lymphomas and either inactivate its histone acetyltransferase (HAT) domain or truncate the protein. Herein, we show that these two classes of mutations yield different degrees of disruption of the epigenome, with HAT mutations being more severe and associated with inferior clinical outcome. Genes perturbed by mutation are direct targets of the BCL6-HDAC3 onco-repressor complex. Accordingly, we show that HDAC3-selective inhibitors reverse -mutant aberrant epigenetic programming, resulting in: (i) growth inhibition of lymphoma cells through induction of BCL6 target genes such as and (ii) restoration of immune surveillance due to induction of BCL6-repressed IFN pathway and antigen-presenting genes. By reactivating these genes, exposure to HDAC3 inhibitors restored the ability of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to kill DLBCL cells in an MHC class I and II-dependent manner, and synergized with PD-L1 blockade in a syngeneic model . Hence, HDAC3 inhibition represents a novel mechanism-based immune epigenetic therapy for -mutant lymphomas. SIGNIFICANCE: We have leveraged the molecular characterization of different types of mutations to define a rational approach for targeting these mutations through selective inhibition of HDAC3. This represents an attractive therapeutic avenue for targeting synthetic vulnerabilities in -mutant cells in tandem with promoting antitumor immunity..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275250PMC
March 2020

Follicular lymphoma.

Nat Rev Dis Primers 2019 12 12;5(1):83. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a systemic neoplasm of the lymphoid tissue displaying germinal centre (GC) B cell differentiation. FL represents ~5% of all haematological neoplasms and ~20-25% of all new non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses in western countries. Tumorigenesis starts in precursor B cells and becomes full-blown tumour when the cells reach the GC maturation step. FL is preceded by an asymptomatic preclinical phase in which premalignant B cells carrying a t(14;18) chromosomal translocation accumulate additional genetic alterations, although not all of these cells progress to the tumour phase. FL is an indolent lymphoma with largely favourable outcomes, although a fraction of patients is at risk of disease progression and adverse outcomes. Outcomes for FL in the rituximab era are encouraging, with ~80% of patients having an overall survival of >10 years. Patients with relapsed FL have a wide range of treatment options, including several chemoimmunotherapy regimens, phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors, and lenalidomide plus rituximab. Promising new treatment approaches include epigenetic therapeutics and immune approaches such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy. The identification of patients at high risk who require alternative therapies to the current standard of care is a growing need that will help direct clinical trial research. This Primer discusses the epidemiology of FL, its molecular and cellular pathogenesis and its diagnosis, classification and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41572-019-0132-xDOI Listing
December 2019

Paradigms for Precision Medicine in Epichaperome Cancer Therapy.

Cancer Cell 2019 11 24;36(5):559-573.e7. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA; Program in Molecular Pharmacology, Sloan Kettering Institute, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Alterations in protein-protein interaction networks are at the core of malignant transformation but have yet to be translated into appropriate diagnostic tools. We make use of the kinetic selectivity properties of an imaging probe to visualize and measure the epichaperome, a pathologic protein-protein interaction network. We are able to assay and image epichaperome networks in cancer and their engagement by inhibitor in patients' tumors at single-lesion resolution in real time, and demonstrate that quantitative evaluation at the level of individual tumors can be used to optimize dose and schedule selection. We thus provide preclinical and clinical evidence in the use of this theranostic platform for precision medicine targeting of the aberrant properties of protein networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2019.09.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6996250PMC
November 2019

Reply to M. Skelin et al.

J Clin Oncol 2019 10 7;37(28):2584-2585. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Wyndham H. Wilson, MD, PhD and Louis Staudt, MD, PhD, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD; and Anas Younes, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01603DOI Listing
October 2019

Will GALEN become more RELEVANT?

Lancet Haematol 2019 08 8;6(8):e391-e392. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lymphoma Service, New York, NY 10065, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30136-XDOI Listing
August 2019

Noncovalent inhibitors reveal BTK gatekeeper and auto-inhibitory residues that control its transforming activity.

JCI Insight 2019 06 20;4(12). Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York USA.

Inhibition of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a breakthrough therapy for certain B cell lymphomas and B cell chronic lymphatic leukemia. Covalent BTK inhibitors (e.g., ibrutinib) bind to cysteine C481, and mutations of this residue confer clinical resistance. This has led to the development of noncovalent BTK inhibitors that do not require binding to cysteine C481. These new compounds are now entering clinical trials. In a systematic BTK mutagenesis screen, we identify residues that are critical for the activity of noncovalent inhibitors. These include a gatekeeper residue (T474) and mutations in the kinase domain. Strikingly, co-occurrence of gatekeeper and kinase domain lesions (L512M, E513G, F517L, L547P) in cis results in a 10- to 15-fold gain of BTK kinase activity and de novo transforming potential in vitro and in vivo. Computational BTK structure analyses reveal how these lesions disrupt an intramolecular mechanism that attenuates BTK activation. Our findings anticipate clinical resistance mechanisms to a new class of noncovalent BTK inhibitors and reveal intramolecular mechanisms that constrain BTK's transforming potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.127566DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629124PMC
June 2019

New drugs for new targets in lymphoma.

Authors:
Anas Younes

Hematol Oncol 2019 Jun;37 Suppl 1:105-109

Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6570411PMC
June 2019

Patterns of survival in patients with recurrent mantle cell lymphoma in the modern era: progressive shortening in response duration and survival after each relapse.

Blood Cancer J 2019 05 20;9(6):50. Epub 2019 May 20.

Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

As the survival of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) continues to improve, patients are increasingly being treated with multiple regimens. However, outcome after each line remains poorly characterized in the modern era. To address this knowledge gap, we retrospectively studied 404 consecutive MCL patients who were managed between 2000 and 2014 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Histologic diagnosis was centrally confirmed, and patients were followed longitudinally from diagnosis throughout their disease course. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were determined by Kaplan-Meier method. The median OS and PFS after first-line treatment were 9.7 and 4.0 years, respectively. After second-line therapy, the median OS and PFS were 41.1 and 14.0 months, third line were 25.2 and 6.5 months, and fourth line were 14.4 and 5.0 months. In patients less than 65 years, stem cell transplant (SCT)-based frontline regimens were associated with improved PFS compared with non-SCT regimens (median PFS: 86.2 versus 40.0 months; P < 0.01), with a trend toward longer OS (median OS: 165.0 versus 120.0 months; P = 0.06). Early treatment failure after first-line regimens was associated with worse OS (5.9 versus 2.5 years; P < 0.01). Our study should facilitate establishing proper endpoints for future clinical trials using novel treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-019-0209-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6527702PMC
May 2019
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