Publications by authors named "Nicholas J Short"

129 Publications

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 Sep 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 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

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

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-CVAD-R regimen includes systemic and intrathecal CNS-directed therapy to treat and prevent CNS disease. We report herein 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 remission rate was 91% (BL 96%; HGBCL 79%; p=0.16). 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=0.06) and was associated with baseline BM (27% vs 0%; p=0.02) and CNS (42% vs 12%; p<0.01) 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=0.31); 16% with baseline CNS involvement (p=0.03). 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
August 2021

When Less Is More: Reevaluating the Role of Intensive Chemotherapy for Older Adults With Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the Modern Era.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 18:JCO2100960. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00960DOI Listing
August 2021

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

Am J Hematol 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

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
August 2021

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

Cancer 2021 Aug 3. 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
August 2021

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

Cancer 2021 Jul 13. 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
July 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 Sep 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

Optimizing the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in younger and older adults: new drugs and evolving paradigms.

Leukemia 2021 Jun 25. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

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

In the past decade, the available treatments for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have rapidly expanded, in parallel with an increased understanding of the genomic features that impact the disease biology and clinical outcomes. With the development of the anti-CD22 antibody-drug conjugate inotuzumab ozogamicin, the CD3-CD19 bispecific T-cell engager antibody blinatumomab, CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, and the potent BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor ponatinib, the outlook of ALL in both younger and older adults has substantially improved. The availability of highly effective drugs raised important questions concerning the optimal combination and sequence of these agents, their incorporation into frontline regimens, and the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In this review, we discuss the rapidly evolving paradigms in the treatment of ALL, highlighting both established and effective regimens, as well as promising new therapies that are being evaluated in ongoing clinical trials. We specifically focus on novel combination regimens in both the frontline and salvage settings that are leading to new standards of care in the treatment of ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01277-3DOI Listing
June 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

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 Jun 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

Optimizing Risk Stratification in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Dynamic Models for a Dynamic Therapeutic Landscape.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 27;39(23):2535-2538. Epub 2021 May 27.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00067DOI Listing
August 2021

Venetoclax Combined With FLAG-IDA Induction and Consolidation in Newly Diagnosed and Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 27;39(25):2768-2778. Epub 2021 May 27.

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

Purpose: Sixty percent of newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia (ND-AML) receiving frontline therapy attain a complete response (CR), yet 30%-40% of patients relapse. Relapsed or refractory AML (R/R-AML) remains a particularly adverse population necessitating improved therapeutic options. This phase Ib/II study evaluated the safety and efficacy of fludarabine, cytarabine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and idarubicin combined with the B-cell lymphoma-2 inhibitor venetoclax in ND-AML and R/R-AML.

Materials And Methods: The phase IB portion (PIB) enrolled patients with R/R-AML using a 3 + 3 dose escalation and de-escalation algorithm for identification of maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxicities. The phase II portion enrolled patients into two arms to evaluate response and time-to-event end points: phase IIA (PIIA): ND-AML and phase IIB (PIIB): R/R-AML.

Results: Sixty-eight patients have enrolled to date (PIB, 16; PIIA, 29; PIIB, 23). Median age was 46 years (range, 20-73). Grade 3 and 4 adverse events occurring in ≥ 10% of patients included febrile neutropenia (50%), bacteremia (35%), pneumonia (28%), and sepsis (12%). The overall response rate for PIB, PIIA, and PIIB was 75%, 97%, and 70% with 75%, 90%, and 61%, respectively, achieving a composite CR. Measurable residual disease-negative composite CR was attained in 96% of ND-AML and 69% of R/R-AML patients. After a median follow-up of 12 months, median overall survival (OS) for both PII cohorts was not reached. Fifty-six percent of patients proceeded to allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (ND-AML, 69%; R/R-AML, 46%). In R/R-AML, allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation resulted in a significant improvement in OS (median OS, NR; 1-year OS, 87%). One-year survival post-HSCT was 94% in ND-AML and 78% in R/R-AML.

Conclusion: Fludarabine, cytarabine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and idarubicin + venetoclax represents an effective intensive treatment regimen in ND-AML and R/R-AML patients, associated with deep remissions and a high rate of transition to successful transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03736DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8407653PMC
September 2021

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with FLT3 rearrangement.

Mod Pathol 2021 09 14;34(9):1673-1685. Epub 2021 May 14.

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

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms (M/LN) with 13q12/FLT3 rearrangement have been suggested as candidates for possible inclusion in the World Health Organization classification group of M/LN with eosinophilia (M/LN-eo). We report 12 patients with confirmed FLT3 rearrangement, six with t(12;13)/ETV6-FLT3; one with ins(13;22)/BCR-FLT3; and five with an unconfirmed partner gene located on chromosome bands 2p16, 3q27, 5q15, 5q35, and 7q36. Disease presentations were heterogeneous, including lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, myeloid sarcoma, chronic eosinophilic leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. However, some common features were observed, such as extramedullary involvement (n = 7, 58%), associated eosinophilia in blood, bone marrow, or tissue (n = 8, 67%), multilineage involvement, either as biphasic myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms (n = 2) or mixed phenotype acute leukemia (n = 2). Mutations were detected in 4/8 (50%) patients by next-generation sequencing. None (0/10) had FLT3 or KIT mutations. Eleven patients received disease-based chemotherapy or hypomethylating agents, three received FLT3 inhibitors, and five patients proceeded to hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Together with a review of 16 cases published in the literature, it is apparent that M/LNs with FLT3 rearrangement show disease features reminiscent of members in the category of M/LN-eo with PDGFRA, PDGFRB, FGFR1, and PCM1/JAK2 rearrangement, characterized by a specific gene rearrangement, frequent eosinophilia, multi-lineage involvement and therapeutic benefit from kinase inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-021-00817-7DOI Listing
September 2021

Impact of splicing mutations in acute myeloid leukemia treated with hypomethylating agents combined with venetoclax.

Blood Adv 2021 04;5(8):2173-2183

Department of Leukemia and.

Spliceosome mutations (SRSF2, SF3B1, U2AF1, ZRSR2), are encountered in ∼50% of secondary acute myeloid leukemia cases (sAML) and define a molecular subgroup with outcomes similar to sAML in de novo AML patients treated with intensive chemotherapy. Outcomes in patients with spliceosome mutations treated with hypomethylating agents in combination with venetoclax (HMA+VEN) remains unknown. The primary objective was to compare outcomes in patients with spliceosome mutations vs wild-type patients treated with HMA+VEN. Secondary objectives included analysis of the mutational landscape of the spliceosome cohort and assessing the impact of co-occurring mutations. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of patients treated with HMA+VEN-based regimens at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. A total of 119 patients (spliceosome mutated n = 39 [SRSF2, n = 24; SF3B1, n = 8; U2AF1, n = 7]; wild-type, n = 80) were included. Similar responses were observed between spliceosome and wild-type cohorts for composite complete response (CRc; 79% vs 75%, P = .65), and measurable residual disease-negative CRc (48% vs 60%, P = .34). Median overall survival for spliceosome vs wild-type patients was 35 vs 14 months (P = .58), and was not reached; 35 months and 8 months for patients with SRSF2, SF3B1, and U2AF1 mutations, respectively. IDH2 mutations were enriched in patients with SRSF2 mutations and associated with favorable outcomes (1- and 2-year overall survival [OS] of 100% and 88%). RAS mutations were enriched in patients with U2AF1 mutations and associated with inferior outcomes (median OS, 8 months). Comparable outcomes were observed between patients with vs without spliceosome mutations treated with HMA+VEN regimens, with specific co-mutation pairs demonstrating favorable outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020004173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095152PMC
April 2021

Outcome of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in lymphoid blastic phase and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with hyper-CVAD and dasatinib.

Cancer 2021 Aug 6;127(15):2641-2647. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

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

Background: Dasatinib monotherapy has demonstrated modest clinical activity in chronic myeloid leukemia in lymphoid blastic phase (CML-LBP). The outcome of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has dramatically improved with hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, doxorubicin hydrochloride, and dexamethasone (hyper-CVAD) in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

Methods: The authors reviewed 85 patients (23 with CML-LBP and 62 with newly diagnosed Ph-positive ALL) who received hyper-CVAD plus dasatinib.

Results: In the CML-LBP cohort, 19 had prior chronic myeloid leukemia as chronic phase (n = 17; 74%), accelerated phase (n = 1; 4%), or myeloid blastic phase (n = 1; 4%); 4 (17%) presented with de novo CML-LBP. The BCR-ABL1 transcript was p210 in 22 patients (96%) and p190 in 1 patient (4%). In the Ph-positive ALL cohort, p210 and p190 transcripts were detected in 13 patients (21%) and 48 patients (77%), respectively. Patients with CML-LBP were less likely to achieve deep molecular remission than patients with Ph-positive ALL: the major molecular response (MMR) rates were 70% and 95%, respectively (P = .007), and the complete molecular response (CMR) rates were 55% and 74%, respectively (P = .16). Survival outcomes were similar for CML-LBP and Ph-positive ALL: the 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 59% and 48%, respectively (P = .97). Allogeneic stem cell transplantation was associated with a better outcome in CML-LBP (5-year OS rate, 88% vs 57%; P = .04). In Ph-positive ALL, the outcome was driven by deeper molecular remission: the 5-year OS rates were 63% and 25% with CMR and MMR, respectively (P = .002).

Conclusions: The outcome of CML-LBP has improved with hyper-CVAD plus dasatinib therapy with survival comparable to that of Ph-positive ALL. Further improvement may be achieved with the use of novel TKIs and targeted agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33539DOI Listing
August 2021

De novo acute myeloid leukemia: A population-based study of outcome in the United States based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, 1980 to 2017.

Cancer 2021 Jun 5;127(12):2049-2061. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

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

Background: Several important treatment and supportive care strategies have been implemented over the past 4 decades in the management of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Methods: The authors identified 29,107 patients who were diagnosed with de novo AML between 1980 and 2017 in the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Patients were categorized into 5 age groups (ages birth to 14, 15-39, 40-59, 60-69, and ≥70 years) and 4 calendar periods (1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009, and 2010-2017). The outcomes of patients who had AML within these categories were analyzed.

Results: The overall 5-year survival rates in patients with AML were 9%, 15%, 22%, and 28% in the decades 1980 to 1989, 1990 to 1999, 2000 to 2009, and 2010 to 2017, respectively. Among patients aged 15 to 39 years, the 5-year survival rates were 24%, 41%, 52%, and 63%, respectively; among those aged ≥70 years, the 5-year survival rates were 1%, 2%, 3%, and 5%, respectively. Four-week mortality was surprising high among adults and older patients (range, 20%-45%), even in modern times. Overall, survival continued to improve over the calendar periods and was best in the period from 2010 to 2017. Survival improvement was noticeable across all age groups except patients aged ≥70 years, in whom the estimated 5-year survival rate remained 5% even during the period from 2010 to 2017.

Conclusions: The outcomes of patients with AML showed incremental improvement over time in a population-based study of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data. The introduction since 2017 of targeted therapies among older patients and optimizations in supportive care hopefully will continue to improve outcomes in AML, particularly among older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33458DOI Listing
June 2021

Duration of cytopenias with concomitant venetoclax and azole antifungals in acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2021 Jul 1;127(14):2489-2499. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

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

Background: Venetoclax (VEN) combined with the hypomethylating agent (HMA) azacitidine improves survival in patients aged ≥75 years with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). VEN and HMA treatment can result in prolonged and often profound neutropenia, and this warrants antifungal prophylaxis. Azole antifungals inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4, the primary enzyme responsible for VEN metabolism; this results in VEN dose reductions for each concomitant antifungal. Limited clinical data exist on outcomes for patients treated with VEN, an HMA, and various azoles.

Methods: The time to neutrophil recovery (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] > 1000 cells/mm ) and platelet (PLT) recovery (PLT count > 100,000 cells/mm ) in 64 patients with newly diagnosed AML who achieved a response after course 1 of VEN plus an HMA were evaluated. HMA therapy included azacitidine (75 mg/m intravenously/subcutaneously for 7 days) or decitabine (20 mg/m intravenously for 5 or 10 days).

Results: Forty-seven patients (73%) received an azole: posaconazole (n = 17; 27%), voriconazole (n = 9; 14%), isavuconazole (n = 20; 31%), or fluconazole (n = 1; 2%). The median time to ANC recovery were similar for patients who did receive an azole (37 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 34-38 days) and patients who did not receive an azole (39 days; 95% CI, 30 days to not estimable; P = .8). The median time to PLT recovery was significantly longer for patients receiving azoles (28 vs 22 days; P = .01). The median times to ANC recovery (35 vs 38 days) and PLT recovery (26 vs 32 days) were similar with posaconazole and voriconazole.

Conclusions: VEN plus an HMA resulted in neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, with the latter prolonged in patients receiving concomitant azoles. Concomitant posaconazole or voriconazole and VEN (100 mg) resulted in similar ANC and PLT recovery times, suggesting the safety of these dosage combinations during course 1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249340PMC
July 2021

Prognostic factors for progression in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in complete molecular response within 3 months of therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Cancer 2021 Aug 1;127(15):2648-2656. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

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

Background: The achievement of a 3-month complete molecular response (CMR) is a major prognostic factor for survival in patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, 25% of patients relapse during therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

Methods: The authors reviewed 204 patients with Ph-positive ALL who were treated between January 2001 and December 2018 using the combination of hyper-CVAD (hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone) plus a TKI (imatinib, 44 patients [22%]; dasatinib, 88 patients [43%]; or ponatinib, 72 patients [35%]). Progression-free survival (PFS) was defined as the time from the start date of therapy to the date of relapse, death, or last follow-up. Overall survival (OS) was defined as the time from the start date of therapy to the date of death or last follow-up.

Results: Overall, a 3-month CMR was observed in 57% of patients, including 32% of those who received imatinib, 52% of those who received dasatinib, and 74% of those who received ponatinib. The median follow-up was 74 months (imatinib, 180 months; dasatinib, 106 months; ponatinib, 43 months). Among 84 patients in 3-month CMR, 17 (20%) proceeded to undergo allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The 5-year PFS and OS rates were 68% and 72%, respectively. By multivariate analysis, ponatinib therapy was the only significant favorable independent factor predicting for progression (P = .028; hazard ratio, 0.388; 95% CI, 0.166-0.904) and death (P = .042; hazard ratio, 0.379; 95% CI, 0.149-0.966). ASCT was not a prognostic factor for PFS and OS by univariate analysis.

Conclusions: In patients with Ph-positive ALL, ponatinib is superior to other types of TKIs in inducing and maintaining a CMR, thus preventing disease progression. ASCT does not improve outcome once a 3-month CMR is achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33529DOI Listing
August 2021

Prognostic value of measurable residual disease after venetoclax and decitabine in acute myeloid leukemia.

Blood Adv 2021 04;5(7):1876-1883

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

Assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD) provides prognostic information in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the utility of MRD with venetoclax-based lower intensity regimens is unknown. We analyzed the prognostic value of achieving a negative MRD in older/"unfit" patients with AML receiving first-line therapy with 10-day decitabine and venetoclax. MRD was evaluated in bone marrow specimens using multicolor flow cytometry (sensitivity 0.1%). Ninety-seven patients achieving either a complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) or morphologic leukemia-free state were included. Median age was 72 years (interquartile range, 68-78 years), and 64% had adverse-risk AML. Eighty-three patients achieved CR/CRi, and 52 (54%) became MRD negative. Median time to becoming MRD negative was 2.0 months (interquartile range, 0.9-3.1 months). Patients becoming MRD negative by 2 months had longer relapse-free survival (RFS) compared with those remaining MRD positive (median RFS, not reached vs 5.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.78; P = .004), longer event-free survival (EFS) (median EFS, not reached vs 5.8 months; HR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.12-0.55; P < .001), as well as longer overall survival (OS) (median OS, 25.1 vs 7.1 months; HR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.11-0.51; P < .001). Patients achieving an MRD-negative CR had longer OS compared with those with an inferior response (median OS, 25.1 vs 11.6 months; HR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.19-0.58; P < .0005). Patients becoming MRD negative within 1 month had an improved OS compared with MRD-positive patients (median OS, 25.1 vs 3.4 months; HR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.03-0.64; P < .0001). Differential impact of MRD status on survival outcomes persisted at a later 4-month time point of evaluation. In conclusion, MRD-negative status at 1, 2, and 4 months after starting therapy confers significantly better survival in older/unfit patients with AML receiving first-line therapy with 10-day decitabine and venetoclax. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03404193.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045494PMC
April 2021

Long-term follow-up of salvage therapy using a combination of inotuzumab ozogamicin and mini-hyper-CVD with or without blinatumomab in relapsed/refractory Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Cancer 2021 Jun 19;127(12):2025-2038. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

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

Background: The outcome of patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is poor. The combination of inotuzumab with low-intensity mini-hyper-CVD (mini-hyper-CVD; cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone at 50% dose reduction, no anthracycline, methotrexate at 75% dose reduction, cytarabine at 0.5 g/m × 4 doses) chemotherapy has shown encouraging results. The sequential addition of blinatumomab might improve outcome in patients with R/R ALL.

Methods: We used lower intensity chemotherapy, mini-hyper-CVD (cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone at 50% dose reduction, no anthracycline, methotrexate at 75% dose reduction, cytarabine at 0.5 g/m x 4 doses) compared to conventional hyper-CVAD.

Results: Ninety-six patients with a median age of 37 years (range, 18-87 years) were treated. Overall, 77 patients (80%) responded, 55 (57%) of whom achieved complete response. The overall measurable residual disease negativity rate among responders was 83%. Forty-four (46%) patients underwent later allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Veno-occlusive disease of any grade occurred in 10 (10%) patients. The rates were 13% with the original schedule and 3% with the use of lower-dose inotuzumab and sequential blinatumomab. With a median follow-up of 36 months, the median overall survival (OS) was 13.4 months, with 3-year OS rates of 33%. The 3-year OS rate for patients with CD22 expression ≥70% and without adverse cytogenetics (KMT2A rearrangements, low hypodiploidy/near triploidy) was 55%.

Conclusion: The combination of inotuzumab and low-intensity mini-hyper-CVD chemotherapy with or without blinatumomab shows sustained efficacy in patients with R/R ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33469DOI Listing
June 2021

Two Cases of Possible Familial Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in a Family with Extensive History of Cancer.

Acta Haematol 2021 18;144(5):585-590. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

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

CML is defined by the presence of an oncogenic fusion protein caused by a reciprocal translocation between chromosomes 9q and 22q. While our molecular understanding of CML pathogenesis has revolutionized drug development for this disease, we have yet to identify many predisposing factors for CML. Familial occurrence of CML has been rarely reported. Here, we describe 2 cases of CML in a 24-year-old woman and in her 73-year-old maternal great aunt. We describe genetic variants in these patients and report on their environmental exposures that may have contributed to CML pathogenesis. The possible familial association of these 2 cases of CML warrants further investigation into more definitive etiologies of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000513925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8448803PMC
March 2021

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A population-based study of outcome in the United States based on the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER) database, 1980-2017.

Am J Hematol 2021 06 1;96(6):650-658. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Leukemia, U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

The treatment in acute lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) has evolved and improved dramatically over the past four decades. We assessed the outcome of ALL overall, and the two major subsets of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive and Ph-negative ALL by age, time periods, ethnicity, median household income, and geographic county area. A total of 12 788 patients diagnosed with ALL from 1980 to 2017 were included. We performed an analysis to better evaluate the outcome evolution in ALL according to time period and patient's demographic factors. The overall 5-year survival rates have improved significantly over time, from 51% before 1990 to 72% since 2010. The survival rates for children (age 0 to 14 years) and adolescents (age 15 to 19 years) have improved from 73% and 55% before 1990 to 93% and 74% since 2010, respectively. Similarly, the rates had improved from 33% to 59% for adults 20 to 29 years old, 24% to 59% for 30 to 39 years old, and 14% to 43% for 40 to 59 years old between the two time periods. The rates remained under 30% in older patients (60+ years). Since 2010, patients with Ph-negative ALL had 5-year survival rate of 73% and those with Ph-positive ALL 50%. African Americans, Hispanic ethnicity, and lower household income were associated with inferior survival. The outcome of patients with ALL showed continued improvement across all age groups in the US. The recent introduction of targeted therapies, together with optimized supportive care, will continue to improve outcomes, particularly in older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26156DOI Listing
June 2021
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