Publications by authors named "Farhad Ravandi"

663 Publications

Dr. Elihu H. Estey (1946-2021).

Am J Hematol 2021 Nov 20. Epub 2021 Nov 20.

Department of Leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26415DOI Listing
November 2021

2021 Update Measurable Residual Disease in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: European LeukemiaNet Working Party Consensus Document.

Blood 2021 Nov 1. Epub 2021 Nov 1.

chru of Lille, Lille, France.

Measurable residual disease (MRD) is an important biomarker in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that is used for prognostic, predictive, monitoring, and efficacy-response assessments. The European LeukemiaNet (ELN) MRD working party evaluates standardization and harmonization of MRD in an ongoing manner and has updated the 2018 ELN MRD recommendations based on significant developments in the field. New and revised recommendations were established during in-person and online meetings, and a two-stage Delphi poll was conducted to optimize consensus. All recommendations are graded by levels of evidence and agreement. Major changes include technical specifications for next generation sequencing (NGS)-based MRD testing and integrative assessments of MRD irrespective of technology. Other topics include use of MRD as a prognostic and surrogate endpoint for drug testing; selection of the technique, material, and appropriate time points for MRD assessment; and clinical implications of MRD assessment. In addition to technical recommendations for flow- and molecular- MRD analysis, we provide MRD thresholds and define MRD response, and detail how MRD results should be reported and combined if several techniques are used. MRD assessment in AML is complex and clinically relevant, and standardized approaches to application, interpretation, technical conduct, and reporting are of critical importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021013626DOI Listing
November 2021

Prediction of early (4-week) mortality in acute myeloid leukemia with intensive chemotherapy.

Am J Hematol 2021 Oct 30. Epub 2021 Oct 30.

Department of Leukemia, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

The progress with intensive chemotherapy and supportive care measures has improved survival in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Given the recent development of effective low intensity therapies, an optimal decision on the therapy intensity may improve survival through the avoidance of early mortality. We reviewed the outcome of 3728 patients with newly diagnosed AML who received intensive chemotherapy between August 1980 and May 2020. Intensive chemotherapy was defined as a cumulative cytarabine dose ≥ 700 mg/m during induction therapy. We divided the whole cohort into a training and validation group at a 3:1 ratio. The population was divided into a training (2790 patients) and a validation cohort (938 patients). The median age was 55 years (range, 15-99). Among them, 442 patients (12%) had core-binding factor AML. Binary logistic regression identified older age, worse performance status, hyperbilirubinemia, elevated creatinine, hyperuricemia, cytogenetic abnormalities other than CBF and -Y, and pneumonia as adverse prognostic factors for an early 4-week mortality. This risk classification for early mortality was verified in the validation cohort of patients. In the validation cohort of more recently treated patients from 2000 to 2017, the 4-week mortality rates with intensive chemotherapy were 2%, 14%, and 50% in the low-, high-, and very high-risk group, respectively. The mortality rates with low intensity therapies were 3%, 9%, and 20%, respectively. The risk classification guides treatment intensity by the assessment of age, frailty, organ dysfunction, cytogenetic abnormality, and infection to avoid early mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26395DOI Listing
October 2021

Value of measurable residual disease monitoring in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia in the era of frontline 'chemotherapy-free' therapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Oct 20:1-4. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the chromosomal translocation (15;17) and the resulting gene used for measurable residual disease (MRD) monitoring. Despite highly effective therapy for APL, MRD monitoring practices are not fully established. We aimed to assess the value of MRD monitoring by RT-qPCR in patients with APL treated with ATRA and arsenic trioxide +/- GO. We reviewed 223 patients with APL treated with this regimen. RT-qPCR for was measured every 3 months, and at 12, 18, and 24 months after therapy. Seven patients relapsed. Time to relapse was 7.9-12.4 months in 6 patients, and one patient relapsed after 79.5 months. These data show that MRD monitoring may be important for the detection of relapse in patients treated with this regimen within one year after completing therapy, however, since late molecular relapse is rare, our data suggest a low value of MRD monitoring beyond that first year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1992757DOI Listing
October 2021

The cure of leukemia through the optimist's prism.

Cancer 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Progress is occurring at a dizzying rate across all leukemias. Since the authors' review of the topic in Cancer in 2018, numerous discoveries have been made that have improved the therapy and outcomes of several leukemia subsets. Hairy cell leukemia is potentially curable with a single course of cladribine followed by rituximab (10-year survival, ≥90%). Acute promyelocytic leukemia is curable at a rate of 80% to 90% with a nonchemotherapy regimen of all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide. The cure rate for core-binding factor acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is ≥75% with fludarabine, high-dose cytarabine, and gemtuzumab ozogamicin. Survival for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia is close to that for an age-matched normal population with BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a previously incurable disease, may now be potentially curable with a finite duration of therapy with Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors and venetoclax. The estimated 5-year survival rate for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) exceeds 70% with intensive chemotherapy and ponatinib, a third-generation BCR-ABL1 TKI, and more recent nonchemotherapy regimens using dasatinib or ponatinib with blinatumomab are producing outstanding results. Survival in both younger and older patients with ALL has improved with the addition of antibodies targeting CD20, CD19 (blinatumomab), and CD22 (inotuzumab) to chemotherapy. Several recent drug discoveries (venetoclax, FLT3 and IDH inhibitors, and oral hypomethylating agents) are also improving outcomes for younger and older patients with AML and for those with higher risk myelodysplastic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33933DOI Listing
October 2021

Predictors of outcomes in adults with acute myeloid leukemia and KMT2A rearrangements.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Sep 29;11(9):162. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX, Houston, USA.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with rearrangement of the lysine methyltransferase 2a gene (KMT2Ar) has adverse outcomes. However, reports on the prognostic impact of various translocations causing KMT2Ar are conflicting. Less is known about associated mutations and their prognostic impact. In a retrospective analysis, we identified 172 adult patients with KMT2Ar AML and compared them to 522 age-matched patients with diploid AML. KMT2Ar AML had fewer mutations, most commonly affecting RAS and FLT3 without significant impact on prognosis, except for patients with ≥2 mutations with lower overall survival (OS). KMT2Ar AML had worse outcomes compared with diploid AML when newly diagnosed and at relapse, especially following second salvage (median OS of 2.4 vs 4.8 months, P < 0.0001). Therapy-related KMT2Ar AML (t-AML) had worse outcomes compared with de novo KMT2Ar AML (median OS of 0.7 years vs 1.4 years, P < 0.0001). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) in first remission was associated with improved OS (5-year, 52 vs 14% for no allo-HSCT, P < 0.0001). In a multivariate analysis, translocation subtypes causing KMT2Ar did not predict survival, unlike age and allo-HSCT. In conclusion, KMT2Ar was associated with adverse outcomes regardless of translocation subtype. Therefore, AML risk stratification guidelines should include all KMT2Ar as adverse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00557-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481264PMC
September 2021

Outcomes of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with KMT2A (MLL) rearrangement - The MD Anderson Experience.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with t(4;11)(q21;q23) - KMT2A-AFF1 is associated with a poor prognosis. The impact of KMT2A rearrangements other than t(4;11) is uncertain and the benefit of allogeneic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is unclear. We reviewed adult patients with ALL treated at our institution from 1984 to 2019 and identified 50/1102 (5%) with KMT2A rearrangement: 42 (84%) with t(4;11)/KMT2A-AFF1 and 8 (16%) with other gene partners. The median age was 45 years old (range, 18 - 78 years); median white blood cell count was 109.0 x 109/L (range, 0.5 - 1573.0). The complete remission (CR) rate was 88% and the rate of measurable residual disease negativity by flow cytometry at CR was 41% (76% overall during follow-up). At the last follow-up, 14 patients were alive. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 18% (95% CI, 9 - 35%) with no difference between t(4;11) and other KMT2A rearrangements (p=0.87). In a 4-month landmark analysis, the 5-year OS rate was 32% (95% CI, 14 - 70%) in patients who underwent HSCT versus 11% (95% CI, 3 - 39) in others (p=0.10). Our study confirms the poor prognosis of ALL with any KMT2A rearrangement and the role of HSCT in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004580DOI Listing
September 2021

Prognostic and therapeutic implications of measurable residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 09 3;14(1):137. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Quantification of measurable residual disease (MRD) provides critical prognostic information in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). A variety of platforms exist for MRD detection, varying in their sensitivity and applicability to individual patients. MRD detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, multiparameter flow cytometry, or next-generation sequencing has prognostic implications in various subsets of AML and at various times throughout treatment. While it is overwhelmingly evident that minute levels of remnant disease confer increased risk of relapse and shortened survival, the therapeutic implications of MRD remain less clear. The use of MRD as a guide to selecting the most optimal post-remission therapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplant or maintenance therapy with hypomethylating agents, small molecule inhibitors, or immunotherapy is an area of active investigation. In addition, whether there are sufficient data to use MRD negativity as a surrogate endpoint in clinical trial development is controversial. In this review, we will critically examine the methods used to detect MRD, its role as a prognostic biomarker, MRD-directed therapeutics, and its potential role as a study endpoint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01148-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8417965PMC
September 2021

Long-term outcome of hyper-CVAD-R for Burkitt leukemia/lymphoma and high-grade B-cell lymphoma: focus on CNS relapse.

Blood Adv 2021 10;5(20):3913-3918

Department of Leukemia and.

Burkitt leukemia/lymphoma (BL) and high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL) have a high incidence of central nervous system (CNS) involvement, which is associated with poor prognosis. The hyper-cyclophosphamide, vincristine, Adriamycin, and dexamethasone plus rituximab (CVAD-R) regimen includes systemic and intrathecal CNS-directed therapy to treat and prevent CNS disease. We report here the long-term safety and efficacy of the hyper-CVAD-R regimen in adults with BL and HGBL, focusing on its efficacy to prevent CNS relapse. Among 79 adults (54 BL, 25 HGBL), the median age was 44 years (25% ≥60 years old), 73% had bone marrow (BM) involvement, and 28% had CNS involvement. The complete response rate was 91% (BL 96%; HGBCL 79%; P = .16). The 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 58% and 52%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) was 21% (BL 14%; HGBCL 37%, P = .06) and was associated with baseline BM (27% vs 0%; P = .02) and CNS (42% vs 12%; P < .01) involvement. In multivariate analyses, age and CNS involvement were independent predictors for OS and RFS. The 5-year CNS CIR was 6% (BL 4%; HGBL 11%; P = .31); 16% with baseline CNS involvement (P = .03). Our data support the use of hyper-CVAD-R in preventing CNS relapse, especially among high-risk patients with BM or CNS involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004427DOI Listing
October 2021

Management of adverse events in patients with acute myeloid leukemia in remission receiving oral azacitidine: experience from the phase 3 randomized QUAZAR AML-001 trial.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 08 28;14(1):133. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France.

Background: Most older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who attain morphologic remission with intensive chemotherapy (IC) will eventually relapse and post-relapse prognosis is dismal. In the pivotal QUAZAR AML-001 trial, oral azacitidine maintenance therapy significantly prolonged overall survival by 9.9 months (P < 0.001) and relapse-free survival by 5.3 months (P < 0.001) compared with placebo in patients with AML in first remission after IC who were not candidates for transplant. Currently, the QUAZAR AML-001 trial provides the most comprehensive safety information associated with oral azacitidine maintenance therapy. Reviewed here are common adverse events (AEs) during oral azacitidine treatment in QUAZAR AML-001, and practical recommendations for AE management based on guidance from international cancer consortiums, regulatory authorities, and the authors' clinical experience treating patients in the trial.

Methods: QUAZAR AML-001 is an international, placebo-controlled randomized phase 3 study. Patients aged ≥ 55 years with AML and intermediate- or poor-risk cytogenetics at diagnosis, who had attained first complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi) within 4 months before study entry, were randomized 1:1 to receive oral azacitidine 300 mg or placebo once-daily for 14 days in repeated 28-day cycles. Safety was assessed in all patients who received ≥ 1 dose of study drug.

Results: A total of 469 patients received oral azacitidine (n = 236) or placebo (n = 233). Median age was 68 years. Patients received a median of 12 (range 1-80) oral azacitidine treatment cycles or 6 (1-73) placebo cycles. Gastrointestinal AEs were common and typically low-grade. The most frequent grade 3-4 AEs during oral azacitidine therapy were hematologic events. AEs infrequently required permanent discontinuation of oral azacitidine (13%), suggesting they were effectively managed with use of concomitant medications and oral azacitidine dosing modifications.

Conclusion: Oral azacitidine maintenance had a generally favorable safety profile. Prophylaxis with antiemetic agents, and blood count monitoring every other week, are recommended for at least the first 2 oral azacitidine treatment cycles, and as needed thereafter. Awareness of the type, onset, and duration of common AEs, and implementation of effective AE management, may maximize treatment adherence and optimize the survival benefits of oral azacitidine AML remission maintenance therapy. Trial registration This trial is registered on clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01757535 as of December 2012.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01142-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8401338PMC
August 2021

Results of a randomized phase 3 study of oral sapacitabine in elderly patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (SEAMLESS).

Cancer 2021 Dec 23;127(23):4421-4431. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Cyclacel Limited, Dundee, United Kingdom.

Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is fatal in elderly patients who are unfit for standard induction chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the survival benefit of administering sapacitabine, an oral nucleoside analogue, in alternating cycles with decitabine, a low-intensity therapy, to elderly patients with newly diagnosed AML.

Methods: This randomized, open-label, phase 3 study (SEAMLESS) was conducted at 87 sites in 11 countries. Patients aged ≥70 years who were not candidates for or chose not to receive standard induction chemotherapy were randomized 1:1 to arm A (decitabine in alternating cycles with sapacitabine) received 1-hour intravenous infusions of decitabine 20 mg/m once daily for 5 consecutive days every 8 weeks (first cycle and subsequent odd cycles) and sapacitabine 300 mg twice daily on 3 consecutive days per week for 2 weeks every 8 weeks (second cycle and subsequent even cycles) or to control arm C who received 1-hour infusions of decitabine 20 mg/m once daily for 5 consecutive days every 4 weeks. Prior hypomethylating agent therapy for preexisting myelodysplastic syndromes or myeloproliferative neoplasms was an exclusion criterion. Randomization was stratified by antecedent myelodysplastic syndromes or myeloproliferative neoplasms, white blood cell count (<10 × 10 /L and ≥10 × 10 /L), and bone marrow blast percentage (≥50% vs <50%). The primary end point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end points were the rates of complete remission (CR), CR with incomplete platelet count recovery, partial remission, hematologic improvement, and stable disease along with the corresponding durations, transfusion requirements, number of hospitalized days, and 1-year survival. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01303796).

Results: Between October 2011 and December 2014, 482 patients were enrolled and randomized to receive decitabine administered in alternating cycles with sapacitabine (study arm, n = 241) or decitabine monotherapy (control arm, n = 241). The median OS was 5.9 months on the study arm versus 5.7 months on the control arm (P = .8902). The CR rate was 16.6% on the study arm and 10.8% on the control arm (P = .1468). In patients with white blood cell counts <10 × 10 /L (n = 321), the median OS was higher on the study arm versus the control arm (8.0 vs 5.8 months; P = .145), as was the CR rate (21.5% vs 8.6%; P = .0017).

Conclusions: The regimen of decitabine administered in alternating cycles with sapacitabine was active but did not significantly improve OS compared with decitabine monotherapy. Subgroup analyses suggest that patients with baseline white blood cell counts <10 × 10 /L might benefit from decitabine alternating with sapacitabine, with an improved CR rate and the convenience of an oral drug. These findings should be prospectively confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33828DOI Listing
December 2021

Clinical and molecular characterization of myeloid sarcoma without medullary leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Aug 12:1-9. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Myeloid sarcoma (MS) in the setting of concomitant medullary AML is relatively well described, while much less is known about patients presenting with MS with <20% bone marrow blasts. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 56 patients with MS with <20% marrow blasts seen at MD Anderson between 2005 and 2020. The prevalence of MS without medullary AML was 1.4% among all newly diagnosed AML patients. The majority (75%) of patients had a single known anatomic site involved, with the skin (34%) being the most frequent. The most common histologic subtype was monocytic, and 11% of patients had a known history of an antecedent hematologic disorder. The majority of patients (70%) received frontline intensive chemotherapy induction, with 75% of those evaluable attaining complete or partial responses. The median overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were 3.41 and 3.07 years, respectively. Patients with bone marrow blasts of ≥5% or medullary relapse had inferior outcomes, while age (>60 years) was not associated with outcomes. There was a suggestion that patients with isolated leukemia cutis may have had better outcomes compared to patients with other organ involvement, but this did not reach statistical significance. Most patients who had cytogenetic analysis had a diploid karyotype within their MS and bone marrow pathway mutations were enriched in MS at diagnosis, and at time of medullary relapse. Our study provides a large dataset summarizing the clinical and molecular analysis of patients with MS with <20% BM blasts and suggests that monitoring for medullary leukemia is important for early detection of relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1961235DOI Listing
August 2021

Development of TP53 mutations over the course of therapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2021 11 19;96(11):1420-1428. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

The Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

TP53 mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are associated with resistance to standard treatments and dismal outcomes. The incidence and prognostic impact of the emergence of newly detectable TP53 mutations over the course of AML therapy has not been well described. We retrospectively analyzed 200 patients with newly diagnosed TP53 wild type AML who relapsed after or were refractory to frontline therapy. Twenty-nine patients (15%) developed a newly detectable TP53 mutation in the context of relapsed/refractory disease. The median variant allelic frequency (VAF) was 15% (range, 1.1%-95.6%). TP53 mutations were more common after intensive therapy versus lower-intensity therapy (23% vs. 10%, respectively; p = 0.02) and in patients who had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant versus those who had not (36% vs. 12%, respectively; p = 0.005). Lower TP53 VAF was associated with an increased likelihood of complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) compared to higher TP53 VAF (CR/CRi rate of 41% for VAF < 20% vs. 13% for VAF ≥ 20%, respectively). The median overall survival (OS) after acquisition of TP53 mutation was 4.6 months, with a 1-year OS rate of 19%. TP53 VAF at relapse was significantly associated with OS; the median OS of patients with TP53 VAF ≥ 20% was 3.5 months versus 6.1 months for those with TP53 VAF < 20% (p < 0.05). In summary, new TP53 mutations may be acquired throughout the course of AML therapy. Sequential monitoring for TP53 mutations is likely to be increasingly relevant in the era of emerging TP53-targeting therapies for AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26314DOI Listing
November 2021

Ten-day decitabine with venetoclax versus intensive chemotherapy in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia: A propensity score-matched analysis.

Cancer 2021 Nov 3;127(22):4213-4220. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has poor outcomes. Although lower-intensity venetoclax-containing regimens are standard for older/unfit patients with newly diagnosed AML, it is unknown how such regimens compare with intensive chemotherapy (IC) for R/R AML.

Methods: Outcomes of R/R AML treated with 10-day decitabine and venetoclax (DEC10-VEN) were compared with IC-based regimens including idarubicin with cytarabine, with or without cladribine, clofarabine, or fludarabine, with or without additional agents. Propensity scores derived from patient baseline characteristics were used to match DEC10-VEN and IC patients to minimize bias.

Results: Sixty-five patients in the DEC10-VEN cohort were matched to 130 IC recipients. The median ages for the DEC10-VEN and IC groups were 64 and 58 years, respectively, and baseline characteristics were balanced between the 2 cohorts. DEC10-VEN conferred significantly higher responses compared with IC including higher overall response rate (60% vs 36%; odds ratio [OR], 3.28; P < .001), complete remission with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi, 19% vs 6%; OR, 3.56; P = .012), minimal residual disease negativity by flow cytometry (28% vs 13%; OR, 2.48; P = .017), and lower rates of refractory disease. DEC10-VEN led to significantly longer median event-free survival compared with IC (5.7 vs 1.5 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30-0.70; P < .001), as well as median overall survival (OS; 6.8 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.86; P = .008). DEC10-VEN was independently associated with improved OS compared with IC in multivariate analysis. Exploratory analysis for OS in 27 subgroups showed that DEC10-VEN was comparable with IC as salvage therapy for R/R AML.

Conclusion: DEC10-VEN represents an appropriate salvage therapy and may offer better responses and survival compared with IC in adults with R/R AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8556232PMC
November 2021

Venetoclax plus intensive chemotherapy with cladribine, idarubicin, and cytarabine in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome: a cohort from a single-centre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Aug;8(8):e552-e561

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Addition of the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax to lower intensity therapy has been shown to improve overall survival in older (aged 75 years or older) and unfit patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of venetoclax combined with intensive chemotherapy in patients aged 65 years or younger with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Methods: This cohort study was done at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the USA, as part of the single-centre, single arm, phase 2, CLIA trial. Here we report on the independent cohort investigating the safety and activity of venetoclax added to intensive chemotherapy (the CLIA regimen [cladribine, high-dose cytarabine, idarubicin]). Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years with a new diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, mixed phenotype acute leukaemia, or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (≥10% blasts or International Prognostic Scoring System ≥2 [intermediate]), who received no previous potentially curative therapy for leukaemia. Patients received cladribine (5 mg/m) and cytarabine (1·5 g/m for patients aged <60 years, 1 g/m for patients aged ≥60 years) intravenously on days 1-5 and idarubicin (10 mg/m) intravenously on days 1-3. Consolidation was cladribine (5 mg/m) and cytarabine (1 g/m for patients aged <60 years and 0·75 g/m for patients aged ≥60 years) on days 1-3 and idarubicin (8 mg/m) on days 1-2. Venetoclax (400 mg) was given on days 2-8 with each course. Patients with a known FLT3-ITD or FLT3-TKD mutation received midostaurin or gilteritinib. The primary outcome was composite complete response (complete response plus complete response with incomplete blood count recovery). Secondary outcomes were overall response, duration of response, event-free survival, overall survival, and safety. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02115295.

Findings: Between Feb 25, 2019, and March 23, 2021, 77 patients were assessed for eligibility, 50 of whom were enrolled. Median age was 48 years (IQR 37-56). 47 (94% [95% CI 83-98]) patients had composite complete response, with the same proportion also having an overall response; two (4% [1-14]) patients did not respond, and one (2% [0-11]) patient died during induction. 37 (82% [95% CI 68-92]) of 45 patients had undetectable measurable residual disease (MRD). At a median follow-up of 13·5 months (IQR 6·4-19·5), the median duration of response, event-free survival, and overall survival were not reached. At 12 months, the estimated duration of response was 74% (95% CI 60-92), event-free survival was 68% (54-85), and overall survival was 85% (75-97). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or worse were febrile neutropenia (42 [84%] patients), infection (six [12%]), and alanine aminotransferase elevations (six [12%]). There was one death during induction in a patient treated with CLIA-venetoclax plus a FLT3 inhibitor. Two patients died of infectious complications while in complete response in consolidation cycles, both of whom had FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukaemia and were receiving combined therapy with a FLT3 inhibitor. No deaths were deemed to be treatment related.

Interpretation: Venetoclax added to CLIA was safe and active in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, producing high rates of durable MRD-negative remissions and encouraging event-free survival and overall survival.

Funding: MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00192-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Outcomes of TP53-mutant acute myeloid leukemia with decitabine and venetoclax.

Cancer 2021 Oct 13;127(20):3772-3781. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: TP53 mutation (TP53 ) confers an adverse prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Venetoclax with hypomethylating agents is a current standard for older patients; however, recent reports suggest that TP53 confers resistance to venetoclax. The authors investigated the outcomes of patients with TP53 AML who were treated with a 10-day decitabine and venetoclax (DEC10-VEN) (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03404193).

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed AML received decitabine 20 mg/m for 10 days every 4 to 6 weeks for induction, followed by decitabine for 5 days after response. The venetoclax dose was 400 mg daily. TP53 was identified in bone marrow samples using next-generation sequencing, with sensitivity of 5%. Outcomes were analyzed according to European LeukemiaNet 2017 guidelines.

Results: Among 118 patients (median age, 72 years; age range, 49-89 years), 63 (53%) had secondary AML, 39 (33%) had AML with complex karyotype, and 35 (30%) had TP53 AML. The median TP53 variant allele frequency was 32% (interquartile range, 16%-65%), 8 patients (23%) had only a single TP53 mutation, 15 (43%) had multiple mutations, and 12 (34%) had mutation and deletion. Outcomes were significantly worse in patients who had TP53 AML compared with those who had wild-type TP53 AML, with an overall response rate of 66% vs 89% (P = .002), a complete response/complete response with incomplete hematologic recovery rate of 57% vs 77% (P = .029), and a 60-day mortality of 26% vs 4% (P < .001), respectively. Patients with TP53 versus wild-type TP53 had shorter overall survival at 5.2 versus 19.4 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 4.67; 95% CI, 2.44-8.93; P < .0001), and shorter relapse-free survival at 3.4 versus 18.9 months (hazard ratio, 4.80; 95% CI, 1.97-11.69; P < .0001), respectively. Outcomes with DEC10-VEN in patients with TP53 AML were comparable to historical results with 10-day decitabine alone.

Conclusions: Patients with TP53 AML have lower response rates and shorter survival with DEC10-VEN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33689DOI Listing
October 2021

Acute promyelocytic leukemia current treatment algorithms.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Jun 30;11(6):123. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

The Department of Leukemia, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

In 1957, Hillestad et al. defined acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) for the first time in the literature as a distinct type of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a "rapid downhill course" characterized with a severe bleeding tendency. APL, accounting for 10-15% of the newly diagnosed AML cases, results from a balanced translocation, t(15;17) (q22;q12-21), which leads to the fusion of the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) gene with the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARA) gene. The PML-RARA fusion oncoprotein induces leukemia by blocking normal myeloid differentiation. Before using anthracyclines in APL therapy in 1973, no effective treatment was available. In the mid-1980s, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) monotherapy was used with high response rates, but response durations were short. Later, the development of ATRA, chemotherapy, and arsenic trioxide combinations turned APL into a highly curable malignancy. In this review, we summarize the evolution of APL therapy, focusing on key milestones that led to the standard-of-care APL therapy available today and discuss treatment algorithms and management tips to minimize induction mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00514-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245494PMC
June 2021

Outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed TP53-mutated acute myeloid leukemia with or without venetoclax-based therapy.

Cancer 2021 Oct 28;127(19):3541-3551. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Venetoclax (VEN) in combination with a hypomethylating agent (HMA) has become the standard of care for patients aged >75 years and for those not eligible for intensive chemotherapy who have newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The benefit of VEN-based therapy in patients who have newly diagnosed AML with mutations in the TP53 gene (TP53 ) over standard therapy is undefined.

Methods: In this single-institutional, retrospective analysis, the authors assessed the clinical outcomes of 238 patients with newly diagnosed TP53 AML and compared the clinical characteristics, response to different therapies, and outcomes of those who received VEN-based (n = 58) and non-VEN-based (n = 180) regimens.

Results: Patients who received VEN-based regimens were older (aged >65 years: 81% vs 65%; P = .02) and had higher response rates (complete remission, 43% vs 32%; P = .06) than those who received non-VEN-based regimens. Compared with patients who received non-VEN-based regimens, no difference in overall survival (median, 6.6 vs 5.7 months; P = .4) or relapse-free survival (median, 4.7 vs 3.5 months; P = .43) was observed in those who received VEN-based regimens, regardless of age or intensity of treatment.

Conclusions: The addition of VEN to standard treatment regimens did not improve outcomes in younger or older patients who had TP53 AML. These data highlight the need for novel therapies beyond VEN to improve the outcome of patients with TP53 AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33675DOI Listing
October 2021

Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Historical Perspective and Progress in Research and Therapy Over 5 Decades.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 09 29;21(9):580-597. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Clinical Hematology, The Alfred Hospital and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

With the Food and Drug Administration approval of 9 agents for different acute myeloid leukemia (AML) indications, the prognosis and management of AML is evolving rapidly. Herein, we review the important milestones in the history of AML research and therapy, discuss insights regarding prognostic assessment and prediction of treatment outcome, detail practical supportive care measures, and summarize the current treatment landscape and areas of evolving research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.05.016DOI Listing
September 2021

A phase 1b/2 study of azacitidine with PD-L1 antibody avelumab in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2021 Oct 25;127(20):3761-3771. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have limited treatment options. In preclinical models of AML, inhibition of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis demonstrated antileukemic activity. Avelumab is an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) approved in multiple solid tumors. The authors conducted a phase 1b/2 clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of azacitidine with avelumab in patients with R/R AML.

Methods: Patients aged ≥18 years who had R/R AML received azacitidine 75 mg/m on days 1 through 7 and avelumab on days 1 and 14 of 28-day cycles.

Results: Nineteen patients were treated. The median age was 66 years (range, 22-83 years), 100% had European LeukemiaNet 2017 adverse-risk disease, and 63% had prior exposure to a hypomethylating agent. Avelumab was dosed at 3 mg/kg for the first 7 patients and at 10 mg/kg for the subsequent 12 patients. The most common grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events were neutropenia and anemia in 2 patients each. Two patients experienced immune-related adverse events of grade 2 and grade 3 pneumonitis, respectively. The overall complete remission rate was 10.5%, and both were complete remission with residual thrombocytopenia. The median overall survival was 4.8 months. Bone marrow blasts were analyzed for immune-related markers by mass cytometry and demonstrated significantly higher expression of PD-L2 compared with PD-L1 both pretherapy and at all time points during therapy, with increasing PD-L2 expression on therapy.

Conclusions: Although the combination of azacitidine and avelumab was well tolerated, clinical activity was limited. High expression of PD-L2 on bone marrow blasts may be an important mechanism of resistance to anti-PD-L1 therapy in AML.

Lay Summary: This report describes the results of a phase 1b/2 study of azacitidine with the anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab for patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The clinical activity of the combination therapy was modest, with an overall response rate of 10.5%. However, mass cytometry analysis revealed significantly higher expression of PD-L2 compared with PD-L1 on AML blasts from all patients who were analyzed at all time points. These data suggest a novel potential role for PD-L2 as a means of AML immune escape.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33690DOI Listing
October 2021

Only SF3B1 mutation involving K700E independently predicts overall survival in myelodysplastic syndromes.

Cancer 2021 Oct 23;127(19):3552-3565. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: SF3B1 mutations (SF3B1 ) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) frequently involve codon K700E and have a favorable prognosis. The prognostic effect of non-K700E SF3B1 is uncertain.

Methods: The authors analyzed the clinicopathological features and outcomes of a single-institution series of 94 treatment-naive SF3B1 MDS patients (18%) and 415 treatment-naive SF3B1 MDS patients and explored the differences between K700E and non-K700E SF3B1 MDS.

Results: Fifty-five patients (59%) carried K700E. Recurrent non-K700E mutations (39 [41%]) included R625, H662, and K666. Compared with SF3B1 K700E patients, non-K700E patients had a lower median absolute neutrophil count (1.8 vs 2.4; P = .005) and were frequently "high" according to the Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (19% vs 4%; P = .031). Non-K700E MDS was associated frequently with RUNX1 (26% vs 7%; P = .012) and exclusively with BCOR, IDH2, and SRSF2 mutations. A splicing analysis showed the differential distribution of alternatively spliced events and gene expression profiles between K700 and non-K700E MDS patients. The majority (at least 80%) of SF3B1 K700E, SF3B1 non-K700E, and SF3B1 patients were treated with hypomethylating agents. Over a median follow-up of 16 months, SF3B1 had superior overall survival (OS) in comparison with SF3B1 in all MDS patients (not reached vs 25.2 months; P = .0003), in patients with low-grade MDS, and in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS). Compared with SF3B1 , SF3B1 K700E had superior outcomes in all MDS (median OS, 25 months vs not reached; P = .0001), in low-grade MDS (median OS, 41.3 months vs not reached; P = .0015), and in MDS-RS (median OS, 22.3 months vs not reached; P = .0001), but no significant difference was seen between non-K700E and SF3B1 MDS. By multivariable analysis, the absence of SF3B1 K700E mutations was independently associated with the prognosis.

Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of the SF3B1 mutation subtype in MDS risk assessment.

Lay Summary: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with SF3B1 mutations are regarded as having a favorable prognosis by both the World Health Organization and the International Working Group for the Prognosis of Myelodysplastic Syndromes. However, this article shows that only MDS patients with SF3B1 K700E mutations have a favorable prognosis (and not MDS patients with SF3B1 mutations involving other codons). This has important implications for refining future MDS subclassification and risk assessment criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33745DOI Listing
October 2021

Open-Label Phase II Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study of Romyelocel-L Myeloid Progenitor Cells to Reduce Infection During Induction Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

J Clin Oncol 2021 10 22;39(29):3261-3272. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Cellerant Therapeutics, San Carlos, CA.

Purpose: Standard cytotoxic induction chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) results in prolonged neutropenia and risk of infection. Romyelocel-L is a universal, allogeneic myeloid progenitor cell product being studied to reduce infection during induction chemotherapy.

Patients And Methods: One hundred sixty-three patients with de novo AML (age ≥ 55 years) receiving induction chemotherapy were randomly assigned on day 0 (d0), of whom 120 were evaluable. Subjects received either romyelocel-L infusion on d9 with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) starting daily d14 (treatment group) or G-CSF daily alone on d14 (control) until absolute neutrophil count recovery to 500/µL. End points included days in febrile episode, microbiologically defined infections, clinically diagnosed infection, and days in hospital.

Results: Mean days in febrile episode was shorter in the treatment arm from d15 through d28 (2.36 3.90; = .02). Similarly, a trend toward decreased microbiologically defined infections and clinically diagnosed infection in the treatment arm was observed from d9 to d28 (35.6% 47.5%; = .09), reaching a statistically significant difference from d15 to d28 (6.8% 27.9%; = .002). Because of this, antibacterial or antifungal use for treatment of an infection was significantly less in the treatment group (d9-d28: 44.1% 63.9%; = .01). Significantly fewer patients in the treatment arm received empiric antifungals from d9 tod28 (42.4% 63.9%; = .02) and d15-d28 (42.4% 62.3%; = .02). Patients in the treatment arm also had 3.2 fewer hospital days compared with control (25.5 28.7; = .001). Remission rates and days to absolute neutrophil count recovery were similar in the two groups. No patients in the romyelocel-L plus G-CSF group died because of infection compared with two patients in the control arm. No graft-versus-host disease was observed.

Conclusion: Subjects receiving romyelocel-L showed a decreased incidence of infections, antimicrobial use, and hospitalization, suggesting that romyelocel-L may provide a new option to reduce infections in patients with AML undergoing induction therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500663PMC
October 2021

Hyper-CVAD plus ofatumumab versus hyper-CVAD plus rituximab as frontline therapy in adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A propensity score analysis.

Cancer 2021 Sep 17;127(18):3381-3389. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: The outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab (hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab) has not been compared with the outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD plus rituximab (hyper-CVAD + Rituximab) in Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a randomized clinical trial.

Methods: The authors compared the outcomes of 69 patients treated with hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab and 95 historical-control patients treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab. Historical-control patients were treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab if they had CD20 expression ≥ 20%. Ofatumumab (day 1 of course 1, 300 mg intravenously; subsequent doses, 2000 mg intravenously) was administered on days 1 and 11 of courses 1 and 3 and on days 1 and 8 of courses 2 and 4 for a total of 8 doses. A propensity score analysis with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was performed to adjust for baseline covariates between groups.

Results: The median event-free survival with stem cell transplantation (SCT) censoring was 33 and 65 months with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab and hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab, respectively (crude P = .064; IPTW P = .054). The median overall survival with SCT censoring was 52 months and not reached, respectively (crude P = .087; IPTW P = .097).

Conclusions: Hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab was associated with better outcomes than hyper-CVAD + Rituximab among patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33655DOI Listing
September 2021

Therapeutic implications of menin inhibition in acute leukemias.

Leukemia 2021 09 15;35(9):2482-2495. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Menin inhibitors are novel targeted agents currently in clinical development for the treatment of genetically defined subsets of acute leukemia. Menin has a tumor suppressor function in endocrine glands. Germline mutations in the gene encoding menin cause the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome, a hereditary condition associated with tumors of the endocrine glands. However, menin is also critical for leukemogenesis in subsets driven by rearrangement of the Lysine Methyltransferase 2A (KMT2A) gene, previously known as mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL), which encodes an epigenetic modifier. These seemingly opposing functions of menin can be explained by its various roles in gene regulation. Therefore, leukemias with rearrangement of KMT2A are predicted to respond to menin inhibition with early clinical data validating this proof-of-concept. These leukemias affect infants, children and adults, and lead to adverse outcomes with current standard therapies. Recent studies have identified novel targets in acute leukemia that are susceptible to menin inhibition, such as mutated Nucleophosmin 1 (NPM1), the most common genetic alteration in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition to these alterations, other leukemia subsets with similar transcriptional dependency could be targeted through menin inhibition. This led to rationally designed clinical studies, investigating small-molecule oral menin inhibitors in relapsed acute leukemias with promising early results. Herein, we discuss the physiologic and malignant biology of menin, the mechanisms of leukemia in these susceptible subsets, and future therapeutic strategies using these inhibitors in acute leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01309-yDOI Listing
September 2021

Impact of frontline treatment approach on outcomes of myeloid blast phase CML.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 06 15;14(1):94. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 0428, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: The natural course of untreated chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is progression to an aggressive blast phase. Even in the current era of BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the outcomes of blast phase CML remain poor with no consensus frontline treatment approach.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the response rates and survival outcomes of 104 consecutive patients with myeloid blast phase CML (CML-MBP) treated from 2000 to 2019 based on 4 different frontline treatment approaches: intensive chemotherapy (IC) + TKI (n = 20), hypomethylating agent (HMA) + TKI (n = 20), TKI alone (n = 56), or IC alone (n = 8). We also evaluated the impact of TKI selection and subsequent allogeneic stem cell transplant (ASCT) on patient outcomes.

Results: Response rates were similar between patients treated with IC + TKI and HMA + TKI. Compared to treatment with TKI alone, treatment with IC/HMA + TKI resulted in a higher rate of complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete count recovery (CRi) (57.5% vs 33.9%, p < 0.05), a higher complete cytogenetic response rate (45% vs 10.7%, p < 0.001), and more patients proceeding to ASCT (32.5% vs 10.7%, p < 0.01). With a median follow-up of 6.7 years, long-term outcomes were similar between the IC + TKI and HMA + TKI groups. Combination therapy with IC/HMA + TKI was superior to therapy with TKI alone, including when analysis was limited to those treated with a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI. When using a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI, IC/HMA + TKI led to lower 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR; 44% vs 86%, p < 0.05) and superior 5-year event-free survival (EFS; 28% vs 0%, p < 0.05) and overall survival (OS; 34% vs 8%, p = 0.23) compared to TKI alone. Among patients who received IC/HMA + TKI, EFS and OS was superior for patients who received a 2nd/3rd generation TKI compared to those who received imatinib-based therapy. In a landmark analysis, 5-year OS was higher for patients who proceeded to ASCT (58% vs 22%, p = 0.12).

Conclusions: Compared to patients treated with TKI alone for CML-MBP, treatment with IC + TKI or HMA + TKI led to improved response rates, CIR, EFS, and OS, particularly for patients who received a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI. Combination therapy with IC + TKI or HMA + TKI, rather than a TKI alone, should be considered the optimal treatment strategy for patients with CML-MBP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01106-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204504PMC
June 2021

Current Approaches to Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive B-Cell Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Role of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor and Stem Cell Transplant.

Curr Oncol Rep 2021 06 14;23(8):95. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Over the past two decades, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have changed the management of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and this has led to significant improvement in their outcome. In this review, we will provide an overview of the current understanding of treatment of Ph+ ALL focusing on TKIs, alloHSCT, and novel therapies.

Recent Findings: The advent of more potent TKIs and the novel therapeutic options including blinatumomab, inotuzumab ozogamicin, and CD19 CAR-T therapy has changed the role of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) and intensive chemotherapy. To avoid toxicity from the historical treatment strategies, a more individualized, targeted approach to therapy including detection and monitoring of measurable residual disease (MRD) has become of interest. The treatment of patients with Ph+ ALL has been rapidly evolving with a more individualized, targeted treatment and use of TKIs and novel therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11912-021-01086-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Clonal dynamics and clinical implications of postremission clonal hematopoiesis in acute myeloid leukemia.

Blood 2021 11;138(18):1733-1739

Department of Leukemia.

Although clonal hematopoiesis (CH) can precede the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), it can also persist after achieving remission. Long-term clonal dynamics and clinical implications of persistent CH are not well understood. Here, we studied the prevalence, dynamics, and clinical implications of postremission CH in 164 AML patients who attained complete remission after induction chemotherapies. Postremission CH was identified in 79 (48%) patients. Postremission CH persisted long term in 91% of the trackable patients despite treatment with various types of consolidation and maintenance therapies. Postremission CH was eradicated in 20 out of 21 (95%) patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplant. Although patients with postremission CH as a group had comparable hematopoiesis with those without it, patients with persistent TET2 mutations showed significant neutropenia long term. Postremission CH had little impact on relapse risk, nonrelapse mortality, and incidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, although the clinical impact of post-CR CH was heterogeneous among different mutations. These data suggest that although residual clonal hematopoietic stem cells are generally resistant to consolidation and maintenance therapies, they retain the ability to maintain normal hematopoiesis and have little impact on clinical outcomes. Larger study is needed to dissect the gene-specific heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020010483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569418PMC
November 2021

Machine learning integrates genomic signatures for subclassification beyond primary and secondary acute myeloid leukemia.

Blood 2021 Nov;138(19):1885-1895

Department of Translational Hematology and Oncology Research, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Although genomic alterations drive the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), traditional classifications are largely based on morphology, and prototypic genetic founder lesions define only a small proportion of AML patients. The historical subdivision of primary/de novo AML and secondary AML has shown to variably correlate with genetic patterns. The combinatorial complexity and heterogeneity of AML genomic architecture may have thus far precluded genomic-based subclassification to identify distinct molecularly defined subtypes more reflective of shared pathogenesis. We integrated cytogenetic and gene sequencing data from a multicenter cohort of 6788 AML patients that were analyzed using standard and machine learning methods to generate a novel AML molecular subclassification with biologic correlates corresponding to underlying pathogenesis. Standard supervised analyses resulted in modest cross-validation accuracy when attempting to use molecular patterns to predict traditional pathomorphologic AML classifications. We performed unsupervised analysis by applying the Bayesian latent class method that identified 4 unique genomic clusters of distinct prognoses. Invariant genomic features driving each cluster were extracted and resulted in 97% cross-validation accuracy when used for genomic subclassification. Subclasses of AML defined by molecular signatures overlapped current pathomorphologic and clinically defined AML subtypes. We internally and externally validated our results and share an open-access molecular classification scheme for AML patients. Although the heterogeneity inherent in the genomic changes across nearly 7000 AML patients was too vast for traditional prediction methods, machine learning methods allowed for the definition of novel genomic AML subclasses, indicating that traditional pathomorphologic definitions may be less reflective of overlapping pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020010603DOI Listing
November 2021
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