Publications by authors named "Tapan M Kadia"

131 Publications

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

Cancer 2021 Aug 23. 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
August 2021

Final results of a phase 2 clinical trial of LCL161, an oral SMAC mimetic for patients with myelofibrosis.

Blood Adv 2021 08;5(16):3163-3173

Department of Leukemia.

Outcomes in patients with high-risk and treatment-resistant myelofibrosis (MF) post-JAK inhibitor therapy remain poor, with no approved drug therapies beyond the JAK inhibitor class. In certain clinical situations, such as severe thrombocytopenia, administration of most JAK inhibitors are contraindicated. Thus, there is an unmet medical need for the development of novel agents for patients with MF. SMAC mimetics [or inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) antagonists] induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Because these agents are hypothesized to have increased activity in a tumor necrosis factor-α cytokine-rich microenvironment, as is the case with MF, we conducted a single-center, investigator-initiated phase 2 clinical trial, with a monovalent SMAC mimetic LCL161 (oral, starting dose, 1500 mg per week) in patients with intermediate to high-risk MF. In an older group, 66% with ≥2 prior therapies and a median baseline platelet count of 52 × 103/μL and 28% with ASXL1 mutations, we observed a 30% objective response by Revised International Working Group-Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research and Treatment (IWG-MRT) 2013 criteria. Notably, 6 responding patients achieved clinical improvement of anemia: 4, hemoglobin response; 2, transfusion independence. Median OS was 34 months (range, 2.2-60.1+). Reductions of cIAPs were observed in all responders. The most common toxicity was nausea/vomiting (N/V) in 64% (mostly grade 1/2); fatigue in 46%; and dizziness/vertigo in 30%. There were 4 grade 3/4 adverse events (2, syncope; 1, N/V; 1, skin eruption/pruritis). There were 2 deaths during the study period, both unrelated to the study drug. SMAC mimetics may represent an option for older patients with thrombocytopenia or for those in whom prior JAK inhibitors has failed. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02098161.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405193PMC
August 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 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

Phase II study of azacitidine with pembrolizumab in patients with intermediate-1 or higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

Br J Haematol 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

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

Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and PD-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression is upregulated in cluster of differentiation 34 (CD34) bone marrow cells from patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Hypomethylating agent (HMA) treatment results in further increased expression of these immune checkpoints. We hypothesised that combining an anti-PD-1 antibody with HMAs may have efficacy in patients with MDS. To test this concept, we designed a phase II trial of the combination of azacitidine and pembrolizumab with two cohorts. In the 17 previously untreated patients, the overall response rate (ORR) was 76%, with a complete response (CR) rate of 18% and median overall survival (mOS) not reached after a median follow-up of 12·8 months. For the HMA-failure cohort (n = 20), the ORR was 25% and CR rate was 5%; with a median follow-up of 6·0 months, the mOS was 5·8 months. The most observed toxicities were pneumonia (32%), arthralgias (24%) and constipation (24%). Immune-related adverse events requiring corticosteroids were required in 43%. Overall, this phase II trial suggests that azacitidine and pembrolizumab is safe with manageable toxicities in patients with higher-risk MDS. This combined therapy may have anti-tumour activity in a subset of patients and merits further studies in the front-line setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17689DOI Listing
August 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 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

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

Cancer 2021 Jun 25. 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
June 2021

FLT3 inhibitors in acute myeloid leukemia: increasing options.

Authors:
Tapan M Kadia

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2021 Jun;19(6):352-355

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

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June 2021

Superior efficacy of co-targeting GFI1/KDM1A and BRD4 against AML and post-MPN secondary AML cells.

Blood Cancer J 2021 May 20;11(5):98. Epub 2021 May 20.

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

There is an unmet need to overcome nongenetic therapy-resistance to improve outcomes in AML, especially post-myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) secondary (s) AML. Studies presented describe effects of genetic knockout, degradation or small molecule targeted-inhibition of GFI1/LSD1 on active enhancers, altering gene-expressions and inducing differentiation and lethality in AML and (MPN) sAML cells. A protein domain-focused CRISPR screen in LSD1 (KDM1A) inhibitor (i) treated AML cells, identified BRD4, MOZ, HDAC3 and DOT1L among the codependencies. Our findings demonstrate that co-targeting LSD1 and one of these co-dependencies exerted synergistic in vitro lethality in AML and post-MPN sAML cells. Co-treatment with LSD1i and the JAKi ruxolitinib was also synergistically lethal against post-MPN sAML cells. LSD1i pre-treatment induced GFI1, PU.1 and CEBPα but depleted c-Myc, overcoming nongenetic resistance to ruxolitinib, or to BETi in post-MPN sAML cells. Co-treatment with LSD1i and BETi or ruxolitinib exerted superior in vivo efficacy against post-MPN sAML cells. These findings highlight LSD1i-based combinations that merit testing for clinical efficacy, especially to overcome nongenetic therapy-resistance in AML and post-MPN sAML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00487-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138012PMC
May 2021

CD94 expression patterns in reactive and neoplastic T-cell and NK-cell proliferations.

Leuk Res 2021 09 10;108:106614. Epub 2021 May 10.

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

Lymphomas and leukemias of T-cell and NK-cell lineages are highly heterogeneous disorders and lack effective therapeutic strategies. Targeted therapies including anti-CD94 agents are currently under clinical investigation, but studies of CD94 expression on mature T/NK-cell neoplasms are limited. In this study, we investigated the landscape of CD94 protein expression in 15 patients with reactive T/NK-cell proliferations and 124 patients with various T/NK cell neoplasms. CD94 expression was detected at a high level in reactive NK-cells, with a lower level of expression in a subset of reactive CD8 + T-cells; reactive CD4 + T-cells were negative for CD94 expression. All NK-cell neoplasms surveyed had high-level CD94 expression, which was significantly higher than that in T cell neoplasms (p = 0.0174). In neoplastic T-cell proliferations, CD94 expression was positive in all 10 hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma cases tested, with a high mean fluorescence intensity. Fifty-six percent of T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia cases were positive for CD94 expression in a subset of neoplastic cells. All T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia and 97 % of peripheral T-cell lymphoma cases showed no CD94 expression. Our findings demonstrate a broad range of CD94 expression among T/NK-cell neoplasms, in some at levels that suggest therapeutic vulnerability to CD94-targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2021.106614DOI Listing
September 2021

Leukemia stemness and co-occurring mutations drive resistance to IDH inhibitors in acute myeloid leukemia.

Nat Commun 2021 05 10;12(1):2607. Epub 2021 May 10.

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

Allosteric inhibitors of mutant IDH1 or IDH2 induce terminal differentiation of the mutant leukemic blasts and provide durable clinical responses in approximately 40% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with the mutations. However, primary resistance and acquired resistance to the drugs are major clinical issues. To understand the molecular underpinnings of clinical resistance to IDH inhibitors (IDHi), we perform multipronged genomic analyses (DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing and cytosine methylation profiling) in longitudinally collected specimens from 60 IDH1- or IDH2-mutant AML patients treated with the inhibitors. The analysis reveals that leukemia stemness is a major driver of primary resistance to IDHi, whereas selection of mutations in RUNX1/CEBPA or RAS-RTK pathway genes is the main driver of acquired resistance to IDHi, along with BCOR, homologous IDH gene, and TET2. These data suggest that targeting stemness and certain high-risk co-occurring mutations may overcome resistance to IDHi in AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22874-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110775PMC
May 2021

Clinicopathologic correlates and natural history of atypical chronic myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2021 Sep 29;127(17):3113-3124. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

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

Background: There are limited data on the clonal mechanisms underlying leukemogenesis, prognostic factors, and optimal therapy for atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML).

Methods: The authors evaluated the clinicopathologic features, outcomes, and responses to therapy of 65 patients with aCML. The median age was 67 years (range, 46-89 years).

Results: The most frequently mutated genes included ASXL1 (83%), SRSF2 (68%), and SETBP1 (58%). Mutations in SETBP1, SRSF2, TET2, and GATA2 appeared at variant allele frequencies (VAFs) greater than 40%, whereas other RAS pathway mutations were more likely to appear at low VAFs. The acquisition of new, previously undetectable mutations at transformation was observed in 63% of the evaluable patients, with the most common involving signaling pathway mutations. Hypomethylating agents (HMAs) were associated with the highest response rates but with a short duration of response (median, 2.7 months). Therapy with ruxolitinib was not associated with clinically significant responses as a single agent or in combination with an HMA. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation was the only therapy associated with improved outcomes (hazard ratio, 0.144; 95% CI, 0.035-0.593; P = .007). Age, platelet counts, bone marrow blast percentages, and serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were independent predictors of survival and were integrated in a multivariable model that allowed the prediction of 1- and 3-year survival.

Conclusions: aCML is characterized by high frequencies of ASXL1, SRSF2, and SETBP1 mutations and is associated with a high risk of acute myeloid leukemia transformation. Response and survival outcomes with current therapies remain poor. The incorporation of age, platelet counts, bone marrow blast percentages, and LDH levels can allow survival prediction, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation should be considered for all eligible patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33622DOI Listing
September 2021

Long-term results of low-intensity chemotherapy with clofarabine or cladribine combined with low-dose cytarabine alternating with decitabine in older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2021 08 26;96(8):914-924. Epub 2021 May 26.

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

The treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using intensive chemotherapy is associated with treatment intolerance and poor survival. We evaluated two new lower-intensity regimens with clofarabine (n = 119) or cladribine (n = 129) combined with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) alternating with decitabine. We reviewed response rates by subgroup and long term outcomes of 248 patients with newly diagnosed non core-binding-factor AML treated on two clinical trials investigating double nucleoside-analogue therapy (DNT) alternating with HMA from October, 2008 to April, 2018. Of 248 patients with a median age of 69 years (range, 49-85 years), 102 patients (41%) were ≥ 70 years, and 108 (44%) had adverse karyotype. Overall, 164 patients (66%) responded: 147 (59%) complete remission (CR) and 17 (7%) CR with incomplete count recovery (CRi). With a median follow up of 60 months, median relapse-free and overall survival (OS) were 10.8 and 12.5 months, respectively. The 2-year OS was 29%. Among patients with normal karyotype, the CR/CRi rate was 79% and the median OS 19.9 months. High response rates and OS were observed in patients with mutations in NPM1, FLT3, IDH2, and RUNX1. The 4- and 8-week mortality rates were 2% and 11%, respectively. The backbone of clofarabine or cladribine and LDAC alternating with decitabine was effective and safe for the treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed AML. Incorporating targeted therapies could extend the efficacy of this approach and provide more curative therapeutic options in this AML population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26206DOI Listing
August 2021

Single-center experience with venetoclax combinations in patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed AML evolving from MPNs.

Blood Adv 2021 04;5(8):2156-2164

In patients with acute myeloid leukemia evolving from myeloproliferative neoplasms (post-MPN-AML), the clinical activity of the B-cell lymphoma 2 inhibitor venetoclax remains to be determined. We review our experience with venetoclax-based regimens in 14 newly diagnosed (frontline [FL]) and 17 relapsed/refractory (R/R) post-MPN-AML patients. Venetoclax was used in combination with hypomethylating agents in 58% of cases and in 19% with intensive chemotherapy (treatment including cytarabine ≥1 g/m2 or CPX-351); the remaining patients received cladribine and low-dose cytarabine or isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 inhibitors. The median dose of venetoclax during the initial cycle was 100 mg in all patients (range, 50-800 mg) and 200 mg (range, 100-800 mg) for FL patients. The venetoclax dose was adjusted when used concomitantly with azole antifungal agents. In FL patients, complete remission with and without count recovery in 6 patients (median duration of 6.4 months) and partial remission in 1 patient was noted, with a median overall survival of 7 months. In R/R patients, no formal responses were seen, with a median overall survival of 3 months. Hematologic toxicities and adverse events were frequent; 83% of patients developed grade 3 or higher infection during the initial cycle. Severe hemorrhagic complications were observed in 14 patients, including 6 cases of intracranial and subdural hemorrhage. Overall 4-week and 8-week mortality were 10% and 32%, respectively. Given the substantial treatment-associated hematologic toxicity and mortality, and modest short-lived responses only in newly diagnosed patients with venetoclax-based regimens, additional treatment options are urgently needed for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003934DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095138PMC
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

EVI1 dysregulation: impact on biology and therapy of myeloid malignancies.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Mar 22;11(3):64. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Cancer Medicine, Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Ecotropic viral integration site 1 (Evi1) was discovered in 1988 as a common site of ecotropic viral integration resulting in myeloid malignancies in mice. EVI1 is an oncogenic zinc-finger transcription factor whose overexpression contributes to disease progression and an aggressive phenotype, correlating with poor clinical outcome in myeloid malignancies. Despite progress in understanding the biology of EVI1 dysregulation, significant improvements in therapeutic outcome remain elusive. Here, we highlight advances in understanding EVI1 biology and discuss how this new knowledge informs development of novel therapeutic interventions. EVI1 is overexpression is correlated with poor outcome in some epithelial cancers. However, the focus of this review is the genetic lesions, biology, and current therapeutics of myeloid malignancies overexpressing EVI1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00457-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985498PMC
March 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

Acute myeloid leukemia: Treatment and research outlook for 2021 and the MD Anderson approach.

Cancer 2021 Apr 18;127(8):1186-1207. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

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

The unraveling of the pathophysiology of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has resulted in rapid translation of the information into clinical practice. After more than 40 years of slow progress in AML research, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved nine agents for different AML treatment indications since 2017. In this review, we detail the progress that has been made in the research and treatment of AML, citing key publications related to AML research and therapy in the English literature since 2000. The notable subsets of AML include acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), core-binding factor AML (CBF-AML), AML in younger patients fit for intensive chemotherapy, and AML in older/unfit patients (usually at the age cutoff of 60-70 years). We also consider within each subset whether the AML is primary or secondary (therapy-related, evolving from untreated or treated myelodysplastic syndrome or myeloproliferative neoplasm). In APL, therapy with all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide results in estimated 10-year survival rates of ≥80%. Treatment of CBF-AML with fludarabine, high-dose cytarabine, and gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) results in estimated 10-year survival rates of ≥75%. In younger/fit patients, the "3+7" regimen (3 days of daunorubicin + 7 days of cytarabine) produces less favorable results (estimated 5-year survival rates of 35%; worse in real-world experience); regimens that incorporate high-dose cytarabine, adenosine nucleoside analogs, and GO are producing better results. Adding venetoclax, FLT3, and IDH inhibitors into these regimens has resulted in encouraging preliminary data. In older/unfit patients, low-intensity therapy with hypomethylating agents (HMAs) and venetoclax is now the new standard of care. Better low-intensity regimens incorporating cladribine, low-dose cytarabine, and other targeted therapies (FLT3 and IDH inhibitors) are emerging. Maintenance therapy now has a definite role in the treatment of AML, and oral HMAs with potential treatment benefits are also available. In conclusion, AML therapy is evolving rapidly and treatment results are improving in all AML subsets as novel agents and strategies are incorporated into traditional AML chemotherapy. LAY SUMMARY: Ongoing research in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is progressing rapidly. Since 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved 10 drugs for different AML indications. This review updates the research and treatment pathways for AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33477DOI Listing
April 2021

Patterns of Resistance Differ in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treated with Type I versus Type II FLT3 inhibitors.

Blood Cancer Discov 2021 Mar 6;2(2):125-134. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

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

Despite promising results with FLT3 inhibitors (FLT3i), response durations remain short. We studied pretreatment and relapse bone marrow samples from patients with -mutated AML treated with FLT3i-based therapies (secondary resistance cohort), and pretreatment bone marrow samples from patients with no response to FLT3i-based therapies (primary resistance cohort). Targeted next generation sequencing at relapse identified emergent mutations involving on-target , epigenetic modifiers, pathway, and less frequently , and . and D835 mutations emerged most commonly following type I and type II FLT3i-based therapies, respectively. Patients with emergent mutations at relapse had inferior overall survival compared with those without emergent mutations. Among pretreatment mutated patients, pretreatment cohort level variant allelic frequencies for were higher in non-responders, particularly with type I FLT3i-based therapies, suggesting a potential role in primary resistance as well. These data demonstrate distinct pathways of resistance in -mutated AML treated with type I versus II FLT3i.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2643-3230.bcd-20-0143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935111PMC
March 2021
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