Azacitidine Approved for Treatment of Pediatric Patients with Newly Diagnosed Myelomonocytic Leukemia

The FDA has approved azacitidine (Vidaza®, Celgene) for patients with newly diagnosed juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), prior to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). "JMML is a rare, unique myeloproliferative/myelodysplastic neoplasia of early childhood driven by canonical Ras-pathway mutations in PTPN11, NRAS, KRAS, NF1, or CBL," wrote Charlotte M. Niemeyer, MD, Professor and Medical Director in the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Medical Center F...

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Targeting p53 in the Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies With Matthew Davids, MD, MMSc

Tumor suppressor gene p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in human malignancy. Through a complex series of molecular events, p53 leads to malignant cell proliferation and plays a significant role in tumor formation. In the Presidential Symposium at the 63rd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Matthew Davids of Harvard Medical School discussed the current therapeutic strategies used to inhibit or reactivate mutant p53 in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In this interview with Oncology Data Advisor, Dr. Davids delves further into the latest research in p53-directed therapeutic strategies and the future of targeting this specific mutation.  

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Brexucabtagene Autoleucel Approved: Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The FDA has approved brexucabtagene autoleucel (TecartusTM, Kite Pharma), an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, for patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). "Despite treatment with novel therapies and allogeneic stem cell transplant consolidation, outcomes in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL remain poor, underlining the need for more effective therapies," wrote Bijal D. Shah, MD, Ass...

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Duvelisib Approved for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes

The FDA has now granted regular approval to duvelisib (Copiktra®, Verastem, Inc.) as a third-line or later treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). The FDA has also granted duvelisib accelerated approval as a third-line or later treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL). Both CLL/SLL and FL are slow-growing types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma characterized by high rates of relapse, with limited...

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To Help Blood Cells Regenerate After Radiotherapy, "Mechanoprime" MSCs

Radiation therapy to the bone marrow destroys cancerous leukemia and lymphoma cells, but it also leaves patients susceptible to infection until their blood cells can regenerate. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to speed up this regeneration by using a technique known as "mechanopriming" to enhance the ability of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to aid in the process. Mesenchymal stromal cells are stem cells capable of differentiating into a variety ...

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Moxetumomab Pasudotox-Tdfk for Hairy Cell Leukemia With Robert Kreitman, MD

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) comprises only 2% of all leukemias and has limited treatment options. In a phase 3 trial, a team of researchers led by Robert Kreitman, MD, a medical oncologist at the National Cancer Institute, found that moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk, a recombinant CD22-directed cytotoxin, achieved a high rate of durable response in patients with relapsed/refractory HCL. Dr. Kreitman presented the long-term follow-up results of the trial at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual...

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Healthy Stem Cells Have as Many Mutations as Leukemic Cells

Researchers have found that the quantity of genetic mutations of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is no greater than that of healthy individuals. These mutations are largely generated by normal, age-dependent processes that are constantly active during everyone's life. "We thought that people with leukemia would have more mutations than healthy people, but this is not the case," commented the study's principal investigator, Ruben Van Boxtel, PhD, of t...

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How Ribosome Defects Contribute to Leukemia

Ribosomopathies—congenital disorders involving mutations in the structure or function of ribosomal component proteins or their assembly factors—are initially characterized by the underproduction of cells. Yet many ribosomopathies later put individuals at risk for cancers involving the overproliferation of cells. How can this be? "Defects in ribosomes have two different consequences for the cells," explained Kim De Keersmaecker, PhD, Head of the Laboratory for Disease Mechanisms in Cancer in Leuv...

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A Means to Avoid Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Leukemia

Researchers have found a potential way to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious and sometimes fatal complication of the allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants used to treat leukemia. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants succeed in fighting leukemia when donated T cells—the immune system's "killer cells," which attack unhealthy cells—attack the cancer cells. Through what is known as graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity, these donated T cells work to prevent disease relapse. ...

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Cancer Quadruples Suicide Risk

A new study by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine has found that the suicide risk for patients with cancer is four times that of the general population. "Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer; the patients usually die of another cause," commented Nicholas Zaorsky, MD, a radiation oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute and first author of the study, which was published in Nature Communications. "The...

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Nurses’ Handling of Hazardous Drugs: An Interview With Christopher Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN

When nurses do not wear appropriate personal protective equipment while administering chemotherapy drugs, they risk exposure, which increases their chances of developing leukemia and other cancers, adverse reproductive outcomes, and chromosomal damage. In this interview with i3 Health, Dr. Friese provides insight regarding his study of an intervention to improve nurses' handling of hazardous drugs, the implications of unsafe handling, and potential solutions to improve the safety of nurses who a...

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Killing Leukemia Cells by Disrupting Amino Acid Consumption

Researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University found that inhibiting amino acid metabolism hinders leukemia cell growth. The investigators report that ASCT2, a transporter enzyme that carries amino acids into cells, is a potential therapeutic target for cancer. "So far, little progress has been made in finding therapeutic targets in amino acid metabolic pathways that can be harnessed to kill cancer cells but spare normal cells," remarked Cheng-Kui Qu, MD, PhD, Professor in the Depar...

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Leukemia: Genetic “Map” Helps Clinicians Treat Patients

With unknown risk factors and a varied response to treatment, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can be a difficult cancer to treat. In order to improve the understanding of this disease, researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center created the AML Proteome Atlas, a database derived from MetaGalaxy analyses that contains the proteomic profiling of 205 patients with AML and 111 leukemic cell lines. "Acute myelogenous leukemia pre...

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Nail Salon Workers Exposed to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Nail salon technicians are exposed to high levels of volatile organic compounds, many of which are in high enough concentrations and toxic enough to cause cancer. In order to understand the severity of this situation, researchers measured the levels of various chemicals in six different salons across Colorado and found that many chemicals exceeded the safe limit, putting workers at an increased risk of developing malignancies. For this study, published in Environmental Pollution, the investigato...

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