Publications by authors named "Dietger Niederwieser"

323 Publications

One and a half million hematopoietic stem cell transplants: continuous and differential improvement in worldwide access with the use of non-identical family donors.

Haematologica 2021 Aug 12. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

CIBMTR (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research), National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, Minneapolis, MN; University of Minnesota, MMC 480, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

The Worldwide Network of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) pursues the mission of promoting hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for instance by evaluating activities through member societies, national registries and individual centers. In 2016, 82,718 first HCTs were reported from 1662 HCT teams in 86 of the 195 World Health Organization member states representing a global increase of 6.2% in autologous and 7.0% in allogeneic HCT and bringing the total to 1,298,897 procedures. Assuming a frequency of 84,000/year, 1.5 million HCTs had been performed by 2019 from 1957. Slightly more autologous (53.5%) than allogeneic and more related (53.6%) than unrelated HCTs were reported. A remarkable increase was noted in haploidentical related HCT for leukemias and lymphoproliferative diseases, but even more in non-malignant diseases. Transplant rates (TR; HCT/10 million population) varied according to region reaching 560.8 in North America, 438.5 in Europe, 76.7 in Latin America, 53.6 in South East Asia/Western Pacific (SEA/WPR) and 27.8 in African/East Mediterranean (AFR/EMR). Interestingly, haploidentical TR amounted to 32% in SEA/WPR and 26% in Latin America, but only 14% in Europe and EMR and 4.9% in North America of all allogeneic HCT. HCT team density (teams/10 million population) was highest in Europe (7.7) followed by North America (6.0), SEA/WPR (1.9), Latin America (1.6) and AFR/EMR (0.4). HCTs are increasing steadily worldwide with narrowing gaps between regions and greater increase in allogeneic compared to autologous activity. While related HCT is rising, largely due to increase in haploidentical HCT, unrelated is plateauing and cord blood in decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.279189DOI Listing
August 2021

Molecular landscape and prognostic impact of FLT3-ITD insertion site in acute myeloid leukemia: RATIFY study results.

Leukemia 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) internal tandem duplications of the FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD) are associated with poor prognosis. Retrospectively, we investigated the prognostic and predictive impact of FLT3-ITD insertion site (IS) in 452 patients randomized within the RATIFY trial, which evaluated midostaurin additionally to intensive chemotherapy. Next-generation sequencing identified 908 ITDs, with 643 IS in the juxtamembrane domain (JMD) and 265 IS in the tyrosine kinase domain-1 (TKD1). According to IS, patients were categorized as JMDsole (n = 251, 55%), JMD and TKD1 (JMD/TKD1; n = 117, 26%), and TKD1sole (n = 84, 19%). While clinical variables did not differ among the 3 groups, NPM1 mutation was correlated with JMDsole (P = 0.028). Overall survival (OS) differed significantly, with estimated 4-year OS probabilities of 0.44, 0.50, and 0.30 for JMDsole, JMD/TKD1, and TKD1sole, respectively (P = 0.032). Multivariate (cause-specific) Cox models for OS and cumulative incidence of relapse using allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in first complete remission as a time-dependent variable identified TKD1sole as unfavorable and HCT as favorable factors. In addition, Midostaurin exerted a significant benefit only for JMDsole. Our results confirm the distinct molecular heterogeneity of FLT3-ITD and the negative prognostic impact of TKD1 IS in AML that was not overcome by midostaurin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01323-0DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinical implications of SRSF2 mutations in AML patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Am J Hematol 2021 10 6;96(10):1287-1294. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology, Cellular Therapy, and Hemostaseology, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.

The SRSF2 mutations are frequently found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and mostly affect the P95 residue. Mutations in this splicing factor mediate abnormal splicing associated with exon skipping events, including EZH2 as a crucial target. While SRSF2 mutations are enriched in secondary AML and associated with worse outcomes following chemotherapy consolidation, very little is known about the associated biological and clinical implications in AML patients consolidated with allogeneic hematopoietic stemcell transplantation (HSCT). Here we retrospectively analyzed 263 adult AML patients who received an allogeneic HSCT regarding the biological and clinical implications of the SRSF2 mutation status at diagnosis and in morphologic remission at HSCT. We found 12.5% of the patients to be SRSF2 mutated at diagnosis. Mutated patients had increased EZH2 missplicing events with P95H likely driving this pathobiology most effectively. However, the amount of EZH2 missplicing events, as a functional surrogate marker did not associate with relevant biological or clinical characteristics. We observed a persistence of mutations in remission before HSCT in the majority (93%) of SRSF2 mutated AML patients. Importantly, the variant allele frequency (VAF) levels of SRSF2 mutations in remission at HSCT did not correlate with outcomes following HSCT consolidation, limiting the applicability of SRSF2 mutations as a marker for residual AML disease. Following allogeneic HSCT SRSF2 mutated AML patients experienced a 2-year overall survival of 77%, indicating that SRSF2 mutated AML patients may benefit from HSCT consolidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26298DOI Listing
October 2021

Measurable residual disease of canonical versus non-canonical DNMT3A, TET2, or ASXL1 mutations in AML at stem cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology, Cellular Therapy and Hemostaseology, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01407-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation improves long-term outcome for relapsed AML patients across all ages: results from two East German Study Group Hematology and Oncology (OSHO) trials.

Ann Hematol 2021 Sep 7;100(9):2387-2398. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

University Hospital Leipzig, 04106, Leipzig, Germany.

Relapse of acute leukemia is a frequent complication with uncertain outcome and poorly defined risk factors. From 1621 patients entered into two prospective clinical trials (AML02; n = 740 and AML04; n = 881), 74.2% reached complete remission (CR) 1 after induction(s) and 59 patients after additional induction ± hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Of the non-refractory patients, 48.4% with a median age of 63 (range 17-85) years relapsed. Relapses occurred within 6 months after CR in 46.5%, between 7 and 18 months in 38.7%, and after 18 months in 14.8% of patients. Relapse treatment resulted in CR2 in 39% of patients depending upon age (54.5% of ≤ 60 and 28.6% of > 60 years), duration of CR1, and treatment of relapse. Overall survival (OS) was 10.9 (7.4-16.2) %, but OS after HCT ± intensive chemotherapy (ICT) was 39.3% (31.8-48.6) at 5 years and not different in younger and older patients. Donor lymphocyte infusion ± chemotherapy and ICT alone resulted only in OS of 15.4% and of 5%, respectively. Independent favorable factors for OS were long CR1 duration, and HCT, while non-monosomal disease was beneficial for OS in elderly patients. Leukemia-free survival [LFS; 24.9 (19.5-31.7) % at 10 years] was affected by similar risk factors. In a competing risk model, the relapse incidence at 5 years was 53.5 ± 3.5% and the non-relapse mortality rate 21.7 ± 2.9%. Lower relapse incidence was observed in patents with HCT, long CR1 duration, and female gender. Risk factors for non-relapse mortality were HCT in younger and type of AML in elderly patients. In conclusion, allogeneic HCT ± IC improved the results in relapsed AML in younger and elderly patients. Increasing CR2 rates and HCT frequency will be the challenge for the next years. Relapse of the disease remains the major problem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04565-1DOI Listing
September 2021

Randomized, Single-Blind, Multicenter Phase II Study of Two Doses of Imetelstat in Relapsed or Refractory Myelofibrosis.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 17;39(26):2881-2892. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Hôpital Saint-Louis, Université Paris, Paris, France.

Purpose: Patients with myelofibrosis who are relapsed or refractory (R/R) to Janus-associated kinase inhibitors (JAKis) have poor clinical outcomes including dismal overall survival (OS) that ranges between 13 and 16 months. Imetelstat, a telomerase inhibitor, was evaluated in patients with intermediate-2 or high-risk myelofibrosis R/R to JAKi in a phase II multicenter study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02426086).

Patients And Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either imetelstat 9.4 mg/kg or 4.7 mg/kg intravenous once every 3 weeks. Spleen response (≥ 35% spleen volume reduction) and symptom response (≥ 50% reduction in total symptom score) rates at week 24 were coprimary end points. Secondary end points included OS and safety.

Results: Study enrollment was closed early, and patients treated with 4.7 mg/kg were permitted to continue treatment with 9.4 mg/kg. At week 24, spleen and symptom response rates were 10.2% and 32.2% in the 9.4-mg/kg arm and 0% and 6.3% in the 4.7-mg/kg arm. Treatment with imetelstat 9.4 mg/kg led to a median OS of 29.9 months and bone marrow fibrosis improvement in 40.5% and variant allele frequency reduction of driver mutations in 42.1% of evaluable patients. Fibrosis improvement and variant allele frequency reduction correlated with OS. Target inhibition was demonstrated by reduction of telomerase activity and human telomerase reverse transcriptase level and correlated with spleen response, symptom response, and OS. Most common adverse events on both arms were grade 3 or 4 reversible cytopenias.

Conclusion: In this phase II study of two imetelstat doses, 9.4 mg/kg once every 3 weeks demonstrated clinical benefits in symptom response rate, with an acceptable safety profile for this poor-risk JAKi R/R population. Biomarker and bone marrow fibrosis assessments suggested selective effects on the malignant clone. A confirmatory phase III study is currently underway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02864DOI Listing
September 2021

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for mantle cell lymphoma-update of the prospective trials of the East German Study Group Hematology/Oncology (OSHO#60 and #74).

Ann Hematol 2021 Jun 8;100(6):1569-1577. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Internal Medicine C - Haematology and Oncology, Stem Cell Transplantation, Palliative Care - University of Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475, Greifswald, Germany.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with an often aggressive course, incurable by chemotherapy. Consolidation with high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (autoSCT) has a low transplant-related mortality but does not lead to a survival plateau. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is associated with a higher early mortality, but can cure MCL. To investigate alloSCT for therapy of MCL, we conducted two prospective trials for de novo MCL (OSHO#74) and for relapsed or refractory MCL (OSHO#60). Fifteen and 24 patients were recruited, respectively. Induction was mainly R-DHAP alternating with R-CHOP. Conditioning was either Busulfan/Cyclophosphamide or Treosulfan/Fludarabin. Either HLA-identical siblings or matched-unrelated donors with not more than one mismatch were allowed. ATG was mandatory in mismatched or unrelated transplantation. Progression-free survival (PFS) was 62% and overall survival (OS) was 68% after 16.5-year follow-up. Significant differences in PFS and OS between both trials were not observed. Patients below 56 years and patients after myeloablative conditioning had a better outcome compared to patients of the corresponding groups. Nine patients have died between day +8 and 5.9 years after SCT. Data from 7 long-term surviving patients showed an excellent Quality-of-life (QoL) after alloSCT. AlloSCT for MCL delivers excellent long-term survival data. The early mortality is higher than after autoSCT; however, the survival curves after alloSCT indicate the curative potential of this therapy. AlloSCT is a standard of care for all feasible patients with refractory or relapsed MCL and should offer to selected patients with de novo MCL and a poor risk profile. For defining the position of alloSCT in the therapeutic algorithm of MCL therapy, a randomized comparison of autoSCT and alloSCT is mandatory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04506-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8116228PMC
June 2021

Changes in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Practices in Response to COVID-19: A Survey from the Worldwide Network for Blood & Marrow Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 03 15;27(3):270.e1-270.e6. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Division of Hematology, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria.

SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly worldwide, but the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) remains unknown. To understand this better, an 18-item online survey was disseminated by the Worldwide Network for Blood & Marrow Transplantation with questions exploring SARS-CoV-2 testing algorithms, mobilization, and cryopreservation strategies and COVID-19 infections in allogeneic related and autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) donors. The aim of this survey was to assess the impact of the outbreak on policies relating to HPC mobilization, collection, and processing with respect to changes in daily routine. A total of 91 individual responses from distinct centers in 6 continents were available for analysis. In these centers, the majority (72%) of allogeneic related and autologous donors are routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 before HPC collection, and 80% of centers implement cryopreservation of allogeneic HPC grafts before commencing conditioning regimens in patients. Five related and 14 autologous donors who tested positive for COVID-19 did not experience any unexpected adverse events or reactions during growth factor administration (eg, hyperinflammatory syndrome). These data are limited by the small number of survey respondents but nonetheless suggest that centers are following the recommendations of appropriate scientific organizations and provide some preliminary data to suggest areas of further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.11.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834678PMC
March 2021

Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) Recommendations Regarding Essential Medications Required To Establish An Early Stage Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 03 16;27(3):267.e1-267.e5. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Oncology Center, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Establishing a hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) program is complex. Planning is essential while establishing such a program to overcome the expected challenges. Authorities involved in HCT program establishment will need to coordinate the efforts between the different departments required to start up the program. One essential department is pharmacy and the medications required. To help facilitate this, the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation organized a structured survey to address the essential medications required to start up an HCT program. A group of senior physicians and pharmacists prepared a list of the medications used at the different phases of transplantation. These drugs were then rated by a questionnaire using a scale of necessity based on the stage of development of the transplant program. The questionnaire was sent to 30 physicians, in different parts of the world, who have between 5 and 40 years of experience in autologous and/or allogeneic transplantation. This group of experts scored each medication on a 7-point scale, ranging from an absolute requirement (score of 1) to not required (score of 7). The results are presented here to help guide the prioritization of required medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.015DOI Listing
March 2021

Phase III, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of CC-486 (Oral Azacitidine) in Patients With Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 25;39(13):1426-1436. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Marienhospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Purpose: Treatment options are limited for patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (LR-MDS). This phase III, placebo-controlled trial evaluated CC-486 (oral azacitidine), a hypomethylating agent, in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System LR-MDS and RBC transfusion-dependent anemia and thrombocytopenia.

Methods: Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to CC-486 300-mg or placebo for 21 days/28-day cycle. The primary end point was RBC transfusion independence (TI).

Results: Two hundred sixteen patients received CC-486 (n = 107) or placebo (n = 109). The median age was 74 years, median platelet count was 25 × 10/L, and absolute neutrophil count was 1.3 × 10/L. In the CC-486 and placebo arms, 31% and 11% of patients, respectively, achieved RBC-TI ( = .0002), with median durations of 11.1 and 5.0 months. Reductions of ≥ 4 RBC units were attained by 42.1% and 30.6% of patients, respectively, with median durations of 10.0 and 2.3 months, and more CC-486 patients had ≥ 1.5 g/dL hemoglobin increases from baseline (23.4% 4.6%). Platelet hematologic improvement rate was higher with CC-486 (24.3% 6.5%). Underpowered interim overall survival analysis showed no difference between CC-486 and placebo (median, 17.3 16.2 months; = .96). Low-grade GI events were the most common adverse events in both arms. In the CC-486 and placebo arms, 90% and 73% of patients experienced a grade 3-4 adverse event. Overall death rate was similar between arms, but there was an imbalance in deaths during the first 56 days (CC-486, n = 16; placebo, n = 6), most related to infections; the median pretreatment absolute neutrophil count for the 16 CC-486 patients was 0.57 × 10/L.

Conclusion: CC-486 significantly improved RBC-TI rate and induced durable bilineage improvements in patients with LR-MDS and high-risk disease features. More early deaths occurred in the CC-486 arm, most related to infections in patients with significant pretreatment neutropenia. Further evaluation of CC-486 in MDS is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02619DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099416PMC
May 2021

Midostaurin reduces relapse in FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia: the Alliance CALGB 10603/RATIFY trial.

Leukemia 2021 09 2;35(9):2539-2551. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.

The prospective randomized, placebo-controlled CALGB 10603/RATIFY trial (Alliance) demonstrated a statistically significant overall survival benefit from the addition of midostaurin to standard frontline chemotherapy in a genotypically-defined subgroup of 717 patients with FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The risk of death was reduced by 22% on the midostaurin-containing arm. In this post hoc analysis, we analyzed the cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) on this study and also evaluated the impact of 12 4-week cycles of maintenance therapy. CIR analyses treated relapses and AML deaths as events, deaths from other causes as competing risks, and survivors in remission were censored. CIR was improved on the midostaurin arm (HR = 0.71 (95% CI, 0.54-0.93); p = 0.01), both overall and within European LeukemiaNet 2017 risk classification subsets when post-transplant events were considered in the analysis as events. However, when transplantation was considered as a competing risk, there was overall no significant difference between the risks of relapse on the two randomized arms. Patients still in remission after consolidation with high-dose cytarabine entered the maintenance phase, continuing with either midostaurin or placebo. Analyses were inconclusive in quantifying the impact of the maintenance phase on the overall outcome. In summary, midostaurin reduces the CIR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01179-4DOI Listing
September 2021

Nutritional Status at Diagnosis and Pre-transplant Weight Loss Impact Outcomes of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Hemasphere 2021 Mar 10;5(3):e532. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology, Cellular Therapy and Hemostaseology, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.

The nutritional status at diagnosis, as well as weight loss during chemotherapy, are important factors for morbidity and mortality in cancer patients. They might also influence outcomes in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We evaluated the body mass index (BMI) at diagnosis, prior to HSCT, and the BMI difference (ΔBMI = BMI-BMI) in 662 AML patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT. Patients being obese at AML diagnosis had significantly higher nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and shorter overall survival (OS) after HSCT, but no distinct cumulative incidence of relapse than nonobese patients. Weight loss during chemotherapy (ΔBMI > -2) was a strong predictor for higher NRM and shorter OS in univariate and multivariate analyses. These results were observed across all European LeukemiaNet (ELN) 2017 risk groups but especially in patients with favorable or intermediate ELN2017 risk and patients transplanted in morphologic complete remission. Only in patients being obese at AML diagnosis, weight loss did not result in adverse outcomes. ΔBMI > -2 represents a strong, independent, and modifiable risk factor for AML patients treated with HSCT. Nutritional monitoring and supplementation during disease course might improve patients' outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7886498PMC
March 2021

Addition of Rituximab in Reduced Intensity Conditioning Regimens for B-Cell Malignancies Does Not Influence Transplant Outcomes: EBMT Registry Analyses Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for B-Cell Malignancies.

Front Immunol 2020 2;11:613954. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Rituximab (R) is increasingly incorporated in reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) in patients with B-cell malignancies, not only to improve disease control, but also to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). There are no randomized prospective data to validate this practice, although single center data and the CIBMTR analysis have shown promising results. We aimed at validation of these findings in a large registry study. We conducted a retrospective analysis using the EBMT registry of 3,803 adult patients with B-cell malignancies undergoing alloHCT (2001-2013) with either rituximab (R-RIC-9%) or non-rituximab (RIC-91%) reduced intensity regimens respectively. Median age and median follow up were 55 years (range 19.1-77.3) and 43.2 months (range 0.3-179.8), respectively. There was no difference in transplant outcomes (R-RIC vs RIC), including 1-year overall survival (69.9% vs 70.7%), 1-year disease-free survival (64.4% vs 62.2%), 1-year non-relapse mortality (21% vs 22%), and day-100 incidence of acute GVHD 2-4° (12% vs 12%). In summary, we found that addition of rituximab in RIC regimens for B-cell malignancies had no significant impact on major transplant outcome variables. Of note, data on chronic GVHD was not available, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn from the present study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.613954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884746PMC
June 2021

Efficacy of Pazopanib With or Without Gemcitabine in Patients With Anthracycline- and/or Ifosfamide-Refractory Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Final Results of the PAPAGEMO Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Feb;7(2):255-262

University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Importance: Pazopanib and gemcitabine have shown good tolerability, albeit modest single-agent activity in pretreated soft tissue sarcoma. A combined regimen to improve outcomes is required.

Objective: To determine the efficacy of gemcitabine and pazopanib compared with pazopanib alone.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter, randomized phase 2 clinical trial was conducted in Germany from September 2011 to July 2014 and included patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0 to 2, adequate organ function, measurable lesion, and progression after at least 1 prior treatment with anthracyclines and/or ifosfamide. Data analysis was performed during 2019 and 2020.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to pazopanib with gemcitabine (A) or without gemcitabine (B).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was progression-free survival rate (PFSR) at 12 weeks; secondary end points included toxicity, quality of life, overall survival, and response rates.

Results: A total of 90 patients were randomized, and 86 eligible patients (43 women [50%]) were evaluable, with a median age of 57 (range, 22-84) years and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0/1 in 77 participants (90%). The predominant histological subtypes were leiomyosarcoma (22 [26%]) and liposarcoma (16 [19%]). After a median follow-up of 12.4 (range, 1-48) months, the primary end point was met, with a PFSR at 12 weeks of 74% (A) vs 47% (B) (hazard ratio [HR], 1.60; 90% CI, 1.15-2.23; P = .01). In the combination arm, PFSR was significantly longer, with a median of 5.6 vs 2.0 months (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.36-0.92; P = .02) compared with single-agent pazopanib, whereas overall survival was similar, with 13.1 vs 11.2 months (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.60-1.58; P = .83). The objective response rate was overall low, with 11% (A) vs 5% (B) (P = .10). The toxicity of the combination of pazopanib and gemcitabine was increased, but it was manageable and mainly hematological.

Conclusions And Relevance: This phase 2 randomized clinical trial of patients with soft tissue sarcoma found that the addition of gemcitabine to pazopanib was tolerable, and PFSR at 12 weeks was significantly higher compared with pazopanib alone. These results suggest clinical activity of the combination, but they should be confirmed in a phase 3 trial in a more homogeneous population (eg, leiomyosarcoma).

Trial Registration: German Clinical Trials Identifier: DRKS00003139.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.6564DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758834PMC
February 2021

ELN risk stratification and outcomes in secondary and therapy-related AML patients consolidated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 04 19;56(4):936-945. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology, Cellular Therapy and Hemostaseology, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.

Secondary or therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (s/tAML) differs biologically from de novo disease. In general s/tAML patients have inferior outcomes after chemotherapy, compared to de novo cases and often receive allogeneic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for consolidation. The European LeukemiaNet (ELN) risk stratification system is commonly applied in AML but the clinical significance is unknown in s/tAML. We analyzed 644 s/tAML or de novo AML patients receiving HSCT. s/tAML associated with older age and adverse risk, including higher ELN risk. Overall, s/tAML patients had similar cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR), but higher non-relapse mortality (NRM) and shorter overall survival (OS). In multivariate analyses, after adjustment for ELN risk and pre-HSCT measurable residual disease status, disease origin did not impact outcomes. Within the ELN favorable risk group, CIR was higher in s/tAML compared to de novo AML patients likely due to a different distribution of genetic aberrations, which did not translate into shorter OS. Within the ELN intermediate and adverse group outcomes were similar in de novo and s/tAML patients. Thus, not all s/tAML have a dismal prognosis and outcomes of s/tAML after allogeneic HSCT in remission are comparable to de novo patients when considering ELN risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01129-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035074PMC
April 2021

Midostaurin in patients with acute myeloid leukemia and FLT3-TKD mutations: a subanalysis from the RATIFY trial.

Blood Adv 2020 10;4(19):4945-4954

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus der TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany; and.

The results from the RATIFY trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00651261; CALGB 10603) showed that midostaurin combined with standard chemotherapy significantly improved outcomes in patients with FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3)-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML), compared with placebo. In this post hoc subgroup analysis from the trial, we evaluated the impact of midostaurin in 163 patients with FLT3-tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) mutations. At a median follow-up of 60.7 months (95% CI, 55.0-70.8), the 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rate was significantly higher in patients treated with midostaurin than in those treated with placebo (45.2% vs 30.1%; P = .044). A trend toward improved disease-free survival was also observed with midostaurin (67.3% vs 53.4%; P = .089), whereas overall survival (OS) was similar in the 2 groups. Patients with AML and NPM1mut/FLT3-TKDmut or core binding factor (CBF)-rearranged/FLT3-TKDmut genotypes had significantly prolonged OS with or without censoring at hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), compared with NPM1WT/CBF-negative AMLs. The multivariable model for OS and EFS adjusted for allogeneic HCT in first complete remission as a time-dependent covariable, revealed NPM1 mutations and CBF rearrangements as significant favorable factors. These data show that NPM1 mutations or CBF rearrangements identify favorable prognostic groups in patients with FLT3-TKD AMLs, independent of other factors, also in the context of midostaurin treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002904DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556122PMC
October 2020

Efficacy and Safety of ABP 798: Results from the JASMINE Trial in Patients with Follicular Lymphoma in Comparison with Rituximab Reference Product.

Target Oncol 2020 10;15(5):599-611

Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.

Introduction: ABP 798 is being developed as a biosimilar to rituximab reference product (RP), a CD20-directed cytolytic antibody that is approved in the US and EU for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Methods: This randomized, double-blind, comparative clinical study (JASMINE) evaluated the efficacy and safety of ABP 798 compared with rituximab RP. Adult, anti-CD20 treatment naïve patients diagnosed with grade 1, 2, or 3a follicular B-cell NHL expressing CD20 were randomized 1:1 to receive a 375 mg/m infusion of either ABP 798 or rituximab RP once weekly for 4 weeks and at weeks 12 and 20. Tumor assessments were performed at baseline and weeks 12 and 28. Primary endpoint was the risk difference (RD) of overall response rate (ORR) of complete response, unconfirmed complete response, or partial response by week 28 based on data from central, independent, and blinded assessments of disease.

Results: Of the 256 randomized patients, 254 were treated with ABP 798 (n = 128; 100%) or rituximab RP (n = 126; 98.4%); 96 (78.0%) patients in the ABP 798 group and 87 (70.2%) in the rituximab RP group had a best ORR by week 28. The point estimate of RD in ORR between ABP 798 and rituximab RP from the adjusted generalized linear model for stratification factors was 7.7%. Clinical equivalence was based on sequential testing of the one-sided 95% lower confidence limits and one-sided 95% upper confidence limits of RD in ORR (- 1.4% and 16.8%, respectively) which was within the prespecified non-inferiority margin (- 15%) and non-superiority margin (35.5%), respectively. Results of sensitivity analyses were consistent with the primary efficacy analysis. ABP 798 was also comparable to rituximab RP across additional secondary endpoints, further supporting the conclusion of similarity, and including: RD of ORR at week 12; trough serum concentrations; percent of patients with complete depletion of CD19+ cell count at day 8; safety; and immunogenicity.

Conclusions: These results support a conclusion of similar clinical efficacy between ABP 798 and rituximab RP in patients with follicular lymphoma.

Nct Number: NCT02747043; first posted April 21, 2016.

Eudract Number: 2013-005,542-11; submitted 14 October, 2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-020-00748-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7568694PMC
October 2020

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation mitigates the adverse prognostic impact of high diagnostic BAALC and MN1 expression in AML.

Ann Hematol 2020 Oct 29;99(10):2417-2427. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Leipzig University Hospital, Liebigstraße 22, Haus 7, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

For most acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers the highest chance of sustained remissions and long-term survival. At diagnosis, high expression of the AML-associated genes BAALC (brain and acute leukemia, cytoplasmic) and MN1 (meningioma-1) were repeatedly linked to inferior outcomes in patients consolidated with chemotherapy while data for patients receiving HSCT remain limited. Using clinically applicable digital droplet PCR assays, we analyzed the diagnostic BAALC/ABL1 and MN1/ABL1 copy numbers in 302 AML patients. High BAALC/ABL1 and MN1/ABL1 copy numbers associated with common adverse prognostic factors at diagnosis. However, while high diagnostic copy numbers of both genes associated with shorter event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients receiving chemotherapy, there was no prognostic impact in patients undergoing HSCT. Our data suggests that the adverse prognostic impact of high BAALC and MN1 expression are mitigated by allogeneic HSCT. But preHSCT BAALC/ABL1 and MN1/ABL1 assessed in remission prior to HSCT remained prognosticators for EFS and OS independent of the diagnostic expression status. Whether allogeneic HSCT may improve survival for AML patients with high diagnostic BAALC or MN1 expression should be investigated prospectively and may improve informed decisions towards individualized consolidation options in AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04235-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7481166PMC
October 2020

The Global State of Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma: An Analysis of the Worldwide Network of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Database and the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 12 23;26(12):2372-2377. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Div. of Hematology and Oncology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell neoplasm characterized by destructive bony lesions, anemia, and renal impairment. Access to effective therapy is limited globally. We report the rates and utilization of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) globally from 2006-2015 to better characterize access to HCT for patients with MM. This was an analysis of a retrospective survey of Worldwide Network of Blood and Marrow Transplant sites, conducted annually between 2006-2015. Incidence estimates were from the Global Burden of Disease study. Outcome measures included total number of autologous and allogeneic HCTs by world regions, and percentage of newly diagnosed MM patients who underwent HCT, calculated by the number of transplants per region in calendar year/gross annual incidence of MM per region. From 2006 to 2015, the number of autologous HCT performed worldwide for MM increased by 107%. Utilization of autologous HCT was highest in Northern America and European regions, increasing from 13% to 24% in Northern America, and an increase from 15% to 22% in Europe. In contrast, the utilization of autologous HCT was lower in the Africa/Mediterranean region, with utilization only changing from 1.8% in 2006 to 4% in 2015. The number of first allogeneic HCT performed globally for MM declined after a peak in 2012 by -3% since 2006. Autologous HCT utilization for MM has increased worldwide in high-income regions but remains poorly utilized in Africa and the East Mediterranean. More work is needed to improve access to HCT for MM patients, especially in low to middle income countries. © 2020 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767639PMC
December 2020

Prognostic impact of the ELN2017 risk classification in patients with AML receiving allogeneic transplantation.

Blood Adv 2020 08;4(16):3864-3874

Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.

In 2017, an updated European LeukemiaNet (ELN) risk classification was published allocating patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to 3 risk groups on the basis of certain cytogenetic and molecular aberrations. To date, studies of the prognostic significance of the ELN2017 risk classification in the context of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are lacking. We performed risk stratification according to the ELN2017 classification in 234 patients with AML who underwent allogeneic HSCT as a consolidation therapy. In our cohort, the risk of 39.7% of the patients was classified as favorable, that of 12.8% as intermediate, and that of 47.4% as adverse. In the context of allogeneic HSCT, the assignment to the 3 ELN2017 risk groups retained its prognostic significance, with patients with favorable risk having the best prognosis and those with adverse risk having the worst one. Subgroup analyses showed that patients with a monosomal karyotype or TP53 mutation had considerably increased relapse rates, even in the adverse-risk group. When we analyzed the impact of digital droplet PCR-based measurable residual disease (MRD) before allogeneic HSCT, MRD+ patients had impaired prognoses, with cumulative incidence of relapse and overall survival comparable to those of patients classified as having an ELN2017 adverse genetic risk. This study is the first to demonstrate that the ELN2017 classification distinguishes the 3 risk groups with significantly distinct prognoses, even after allogeneic HSCT, and emphasizes the dismal prognosis of patients with AML with TP53 mutations, monosomal karyotype, or MRD positivity after allogeneic HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001904DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448597PMC
August 2020

Association of Country-Specific Socioeconomic Factors With Survival of Patients Who Experience Severe Classic Acute Graft-vs.-Host Disease After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. An Analysis From the Transplant Complications Working Party of the EBMT.

Front Immunol 2020 23;11:1537. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Haematology, Oncology and Internal Medicine, Medical Uniwersity of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

Acute graft-vs.-host disease (aGvHD) is one of the most frequent causes of transplant-related mortality (TRM) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). Its treatment is complex and costly. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze the impact of country-specific socioeconomic factors on outcome of patients who experience severe aGvHD. Adults with hematological malignancies receiving alloHCT from either HLA-matched siblings ( = 1,328) or unrelated donors ( = 2,824) developing grade 3 or 4 aGvHD were included. In univariate analysis, the probability of TRM at 2 years was increased for countries with lower current Health Care Expenditure (HCE, = 0.04), lower HCE as % of Gross Domestic Product per capita ( = 0.003) and lower values of the Human Development Index ( = 0.02). In a multivariate model, the risk of TRM was most strongly predicted by current HCE (HR = 0.76, = 0.006). HCE >median was also associated with reduced risk of the overall mortality (HR 0.73, = 0.0006) and reduced risk of treatment failure (either relapse or TRM; HR 0.77, = 0.004). We conclude that country-specific socioeconomic factors, in particular current HCE, are strongly associated with survival of patients who experience severe aGvHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390847PMC
April 2021

Real-World Issues and Potential Solutions in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Health Services and International Studies Committee.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 12 24;26(12):2181-2189. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington and Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has impacted many facets of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in both developed and developing countries. Realizing the challenges as a result of this pandemic affecting the daily practice of the HCT centers and the recognition of the variability in practice worldwide, the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research's (CIBMTR) Health Services and International Studies Committee have jointly produced an expert opinion statement as a general guide to deal with certain aspects of HCT, including diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 in HCT recipient, pre- and post-HCT management, donor issues, medical tourism, and facilities management. During these crucial times, which may last for months or years, the HCT community must reorganize to proceed with transplantation activity in those patients who urgently require it, albeit with extreme caution. This shared knowledge may be of value to the HCT community in the absence of high-quality evidence-based medicine. © 2020 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.07.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380217PMC
December 2020

No advantage of Imatinib in combination with hydroxyurea over Imatinib monotherapy: a study of the East German Study Group (OSHO) and the German CML study group.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 12 16;61(12):2821-2830. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

School of Medicine, University Leipzig, Leipzig Germany.

Introduction: The combination of Imatinib (IM) and hydroxyurea (HU) was explored for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Method: After testing and a phase I study ( = 20), 59 patients were randomized in the IM/HU and 29 in the IM arm. According to protocol, 49 propensity-score matched IM patients were included from the CML-IV study.

Results: Additive specific inhibition of CML cells by IM/HU was detected . HU 500 mg qd in combination with IM 400 mg qd proved feasible in the phase I study. Overall, no significant difference with respect to major molecular response (MMR) at 18 months (IM/HU and IM 66%; primary endpoint) was observed. Significant differences were noted for MMR at 6 months ( = 0.04) and for cumulative incidences of adverse events ( = 0.03) in favor of IM monotherapy (secondary endpoints).

Conclusion: IM/HU combination was more potent in selectively inhibiting CML cells , but not superior to IM . (NCT02480608).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1786556DOI Listing
December 2020

A post-stem cell transplant risk score for Philadelphia-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Haematologica 2020 05;105(5):1177-1179

University of Leipzig; Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania and Aichi Medical University, School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.246322DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193467PMC
May 2020

Ruxolitinib for Glucocorticoid-Refractory Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

N Engl J Med 2020 05 22;382(19):1800-1810. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

From the Department of Medicine I, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg (R.Z.), the Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck (N.B.), the Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig (D.N.), and the Department of Hematology, Oncology, and Pneumology, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz (E.M.W.) - all in Germany; the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, QLD (J.B.), and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC (J.S.) - all in Australia; Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Université Sorbonne and INSERM Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 938 (M.M.), and AP-HP, Hématologie-Transplantation, Hôpital St. Louis, Université de Paris and INSERM UMR 976 (G.S.), Paris, and Novartis Pharma, Rueil-Malmaison (B.M.) - all in France; the Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology Research Center, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem (R.O.), and the Hematology Institute and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Clinical Research Institute at Rambam, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa (T.Z.) - both in Israel; Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ (J.X., K.K.G.); and Novartis Pharma, Basel, Switzerland (C.W.).

Background: Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major limitation of allogeneic stem-cell transplantation; not all patients have a response to standard glucocorticoid treatment. In a phase 2 trial, ruxolitinib, a selective Janus kinase (JAK1 and JAK2) inhibitor, showed potential efficacy in patients with glucocorticoid-refractory acute GVHD.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial comparing the efficacy and safety of oral ruxolitinib (10 mg twice daily) with the investigator's choice of therapy from a list of nine commonly used options (control) in patients 12 years of age or older who had glucocorticoid-refractory acute GVHD after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation. The primary end point was overall response (complete response or partial response) at day 28. The key secondary end point was durable overall response at day 56.

Results: A total of 309 patients underwent randomization; 154 patients were assigned to the ruxolitinib group and 155 to the control group. Overall response at day 28 was higher in the ruxolitinib group than in the control group (62% [96 patients] vs. 39% [61]; odds ratio, 2.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.65 to 4.22; P<0.001). Durable overall response at day 56 was higher in the ruxolitinib group than in the control group (40% [61 patients] vs. 22% [34]; odds ratio, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.43 to 3.94; P<0.001). The estimated cumulative incidence of loss of response at 6 months was 10% in the ruxolitinib group and 39% in the control group. The median failure-free survival was considerably longer with ruxolitinib than with control (5.0 months vs. 1.0 month; hazard ratio for relapse or progression of hematologic disease, non-relapse-related death, or addition of new systemic therapy for acute GVHD, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.60). The median overall survival was 11.1 months in the ruxolitinib group and 6.5 months in the control group (hazard ratio for death, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.60 to 1.15). The most common adverse events up to day 28 were thrombocytopenia (in 50 of 152 patients [33%] in the ruxolitinib group and 27 of 150 [18%] in the control group), anemia (in 46 [30%] and 42 [28%], respectively), and cytomegalovirus infection (in 39 [26%] and 31 [21%]).

Conclusions: Ruxolitinib therapy led to significant improvements in efficacy outcomes, with a higher incidence of thrombocytopenia, the most frequent toxic effect, than that observed with control therapy. (Funded by Novartis; REACH2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02913261.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1917635DOI Listing
May 2020
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