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hematologic malignancies
leukemia

AACR 2015: New T Cell–Based Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Lethal Stem Cell Transplant Complication

More than 60% of patients with Epstein-Barr virus–associated lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV-LPD) that was nonresponsive to standard rituximab (Rituxan) treatment responded to a new type of immunotherapy called Epstein-Barr virus–specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (EBV-CTL) therapy....

leukemia

Less Than 95% Adherence to Mercaptopurine Maintenance Associated With Nearly Threefold Increased Risk of Relapse in Pediatric ALL

In a Children’s Oncology Group study (COG-AALL03N1) reported in JAMA Oncology, Bhatia et al found that < 95% adherence to mercaptopurine treatment was associated with a nearly threefold increase in the risk of relapse in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Among adherent...

leukemia

Patients With Relapsed or Refractory CLL Who Discontinue Ibrutinib Early Have Poor Outcomes

Most patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who discontinued ibrutinib (Imbruvica) early “were difficult to treat and had poor outcomes,” according to a study of patients enrolled in four different clinical trials of ibrutinib, with or without rituximab...

leukemia

No Improvement in Complete Remission Rate With Cytarabine Plus Amonafide L-Malate vs Daunorubicin in Secondary AML

In a phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Stone et al found that the combination of cytarabine and amonafide L-malate, a DNA intercalator and non–ATP-dependent topoisomerase II inhibitor, did not improve complete remission rate compared with cytarabine plus...

leukemia

No Difference in Event-Free Survival With Stem Cell Transplantation Using Matched Unrelated vs Sibling Donor Grafts in Children With ALL

In a European trial (Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster study group trial ALL-SCT-BFM 2003) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Peters et al found no difference in event-free survival with stem cell transplantation using matched unrelated vs sibling donors in pediatric patients with high-risk...

leukemia

Measuring Minimal Residual Disease Levels Proves to Be a Powerful Tool for Guiding Leukemia Treatment

According to a prospective study led by researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, measuring the concentration of leukemia cells in patient bone marrow during the first 46 days of chemotherapy may help boost survival of young leukemia patients by better matching patients with the right...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Chromosomal Rearrangement May Be the Key to Progress Against Aggressive Infant Leukemia

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital–Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project reports that a highly aggressive form of leukemia in infants has surprisingly few mutations beyond the chromosomal rearrangement that affects the MLL gene. The findings, reported by Andersson et al ...

leukemia

Factors in Ibrutinib Discontinuation in Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

In a single-center study reported in JAMA Oncology, Maddocks et al found that Richter’s transformation accounted for early progression-related discontinuation of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and that CLL progression but not Richter’s...

leukemia

Durable Responses at 3-Year Follow-up for CLL Patients Receiving Single-Agent Ibrutinib

At a median follow-up of 3 years, ibrutinib (Imbruvica) demonstrated continued activity with durable responses that improved in quality with extended treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In addition, grade 3 toxicity and adverse events leading to discontinuation diminished ...

leukemia
supportive care
issues in oncology

Inherited Gene Variation Leaves Young Leukemia Patients at Risk for Peripheral Neuropathy

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified the first genetic variation that is associated with an increased risk and severity of peripheral neuropathy following treatment with a widely used anticancer drug. Investigators also found evidence of how it may be possible to...

leukemia
lymphoma
issues in oncology

Study Shows Immunosuppressives, Chemotherapy May Reactivate Hepatitis B

Individuals previously infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that receive chemotherapy or immunosuppressive treatment may be at risk of reactivating the virus, according to a report published by Di Bisceglie et al in Hepatology. Reactivation of HBV can be fatal, and researchers suggest routine...

leukemia

Ibrutinib Active in Previously Untreated and Relapsed/Refractory CLL With TP53 Aberrations

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Farooqui et al found that single-agent ibrutinib (Imbruvica) had good activity in patients with previously untreated or relapse/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with TP53 aberrations. Study Details In this single-arm trial, 51...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Inherited Gene Variation Helps Explain Drug Toxicity in ALL Patients of East Asian Ancestry

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered about 10% of young leukemia patients of East Asian ancestry inherit a gene variation that is associated with reduced tolerance of a drug that is indispensable for curing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood ...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Protein-Based Therapy Shows Promise Against Resistant ALL in Preclinical Study

Chemotherapy resistance is one of the most formidable obstacles to treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer. Now researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have designed and developed a new protein-based therapy that may prove highly...

leukemia
issues in oncology

TP53 Mutations May Play a Role in Treatment‑Related Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome

A genomic study of cancer patients previously treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy found that TP53 mutations may play a role in the development of treatment-related acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome, according to a report by Wong et al in Nature. However, the...

leukemia

CPX-351 Receives Fast Track Designation for Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Elderly Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to Celator Pharmaceuticals’ investigational agent CPX-351, a liposomal formulation of cytarabine-daunorubicin, for the treatment of elderly patients with secondary acute myeloid leukemia. The FDA established the...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation Prolongs Recurrence-Free Survival in NPM1-Mutant AML

In an analysis of the Study Alliance Leukemia (SAL) AML 2003 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Röllig et al found that allogeneic stem cell transplantation significantly prolonged recurrence-free survival in patients with NPM1-mutant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). NPM1...

leukemia

Bispecific CD19-Directed CD3 T-Cell Engager Blinatumomab Active in Adults With Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell Precursor ALL

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Topp et al found that the bispecific CD19-directed CD3 T-cell engager (BiTE) blinatumomab (Blincyto) was highly active in adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Blinatumomab binds to CD19 expressed ...

leukemia

Long Noncoding RNAs Are a Novel Prognostic Marker in Older Patients With Acute Leukemia

A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) describes a novel marker that might help doctors choose the least toxic, most effective treatment for many...

leukemia

ASH 2014: Pracinostat Combination Shows Significant Clinical Activity in Phase II Study of Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia

In a phase II study, the histone deacetylase inhibitor pracinostat demonstrated significant clinical activity in combination with azacitadine in elderly patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Interim data from 33 evaluable patients were presented at the 56th American Society of ...

leukemia

ASH 2014: Oral Inhibitor Shows Clinical Activity in Poor-Prognosis AML

An oral targeted drug has shown encouraging activity and tolerable side effects in patients with treatment-resistant or relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a poor-prognosis group with few options, reported investigators from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The University of Texas MD...

leukemia
survivorship

ASH 2014: Common Genetic Variations May Contribute to Treatment-Related Cognitive Problems in Children With Leukemia

Common variations in four genes related to brain inflammation or cells′ response to damage from oxidation may contribute to the problems with memory, learning, and other cognitive functions seen in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a study presented at the...

leukemia

ASH 2014: T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Outcomes Excellent, Even for 'Poor-Risk' Group

Outcomes in children with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which has traditionally been considered a poor-prognosis cancer, are better than expected, even for the early thymic precursor (ETP) phenotype, according to investigators from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) who...

leukemia

ASH 2014: High Hopes for AG-221 in Advanced Leukemia

Although the data are preliminary, single-agent AG-221 therapy targeted to the IDH2 mutation holds great promise as a nonchemotherapy approach for the treatment of advanced hematologic malignancies, including relapsed/refractory acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and untreated AML. The findings were...

leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes

ASH 2014: Combination Therapy Shown to Be Effective for Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndrome and AML

A phase II study investigating the potential of the drugs azacitidine and lenalidomide (Revlimid) demonstrated that the two therapies in combination may be an effective frontline treatment regimen for patients with higher-risk forms of myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The...

leukemia

ASH 2014: CD19-Directed CAR T-Cell Therapy Yields High Rate of Durable Remissions in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

As more experience is gained with the use of genetically engineered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the data continue to be highly encouraging. To date, 36 of 39 pediatric ALL patients (92%) treated with...

leukemia

ASH 2014: Pediatric Leukemia Treatment Regimens Lead to Improved Outcomes in Adolescents, Young Adults

Results from a large prospective study suggest that children and young adults with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) may respond better to a chemotherapy regimen pioneered in pediatric patients. The findings were presented at the 56th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and...

leukemia

ASH 2014: Blinatumomab Achieves Complete Molecular Responses in Majority of B-Cell Leukemia Patients

Results from the international phase II BLAST study show that one cycle of blinatumomab (Blincyto) immunotherapy achieved complete minimal residual disease response in 78% of patients with precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Complete minimal residual disease response was...

leukemia

FDA Approves Blinatumomab to Treat Rare Form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today granted accelerated approval to blinatumomab (Blincyto) for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome–negative, relapsed or refractory precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL). Blinatumomab is a bispecific...

leukemia

Anti-CD19 Bispecific T Cell Engager Blinatumomab Shows Activity in Relapsed/Refractory B-Precursor ALL

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Topp et al found that the bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibody blinatumomab produced a high response rate in patients with relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). BiTEs induce a transient cytolytic ...

leukemia

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Investigational CAR T-Cell Therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to JCAR015, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor therapy developed by Juno Therapeutics. The designation applies for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was filed...

leukemia

Addition of Vosaroxin to Cytarabine Demonstrates Antileukemic Activity in Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia

In a phase Ib/II study of patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the addition of vosaroxin to cytarabine demonstrated antileukemic activity and an acceptable risk-benefit profile, according to a study by Lancet et al in Haematologica. Based on the findings from this...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Exposure to Hookah Smoke Doubles Benzene Uptake, Potentially Increasing Risk for Leukemia

Findings from a new study show that hookah smokers and nonsmokers exposed to hookah (or waterpipe) secondhand tobacco smoke at social events in hookah lounges and in private homes had significant increases in uptake of benzene, a leukemogen that causes lymphohematopoietic cancers, especially acute...

leukemia

IDH1 Inhibitor Demonstrates Anticancer Activity in Advanced Leukemia

A phase I trial of the first drug designed to inhibit the cancer-causing activity of a mutated enzyme known as isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1, which is involved in cell metabolism, has shown clinical activity in patients with advanced acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with the IDH1 mutation. The...

leukemia

FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to BGB324 for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to BGB324 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). BGB324 is a first-in-class, highly selective small-molecule inhibitor of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase. It blocks the epithelial-mesenchymal transition...

leukemia

CD19-Directed CAR T Cells Produce Sustained Remission in Relapsed/Refractory ALL

In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Maude et al reported achieving sustained remissions in children and adults with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) using autologous CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells. Study Details In the...

leukemia

New Findings in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

Three studies reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology provide information on maintenance treatment with the synthetic retinoid tamibarotene in acute promyelocytic leukemia, potential implications of QT interval prolongation related to arsenic trioxide (Trisenox), and potential health-related...

leukemia

Blinatumomab Receives FDA Priority Review Designation in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review Amgen’s Biologics License Application for blinatumomab for the treatment of adults with Philadelphia chromosome–negative relapsed/refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As part of the acceptance, the ...

leukemia

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors May Improve Treatment Outcomes in Children With Philadelphia Chromosome–Like ALL

Using genomic profiling and next-generation sequencing of patients with BCR-ABL1-like B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL) and Philadelphia chromosome–like ALL, researchers recently identified alterations targeting 18 kinase or cytokine receptor genes. They then determined...

leukemia

Genomic Analysis Reveals That a High-Risk Leukemia Subtype Becomes More Common With Age

More than one-quarter of young adults with the most common form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia have a high-risk subtype with a poor prognosis and may benefit from drugs widely used to treat other types of leukemia that are more common in adults, according to multi-institutional research led by St. ...

leukemia

Study Provides Blueprint for Next Generation of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have identified and characterized mutated forms of the gene that encodes BCR-ABL, the unregulated enzyme driving chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The findings by Zabriskie et al were published in Cancer Cell. Although tyrosine ...

leukemia

Promising Activity of Ibrutinib Plus Rituximab in High-Risk CLL

In a phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Burger et al found that the combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and rituximab (Rituxan) showed promising activity and an encouraging safety profile in patients with previously treated or untreated high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)....

leukemia

Adding Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin to Chemotherapy Improves Event-Free Survival but Not Overall Survival in Children and Adolescents With De Novo AML

In a Children’s Oncology Group phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gamis et al found that the addition of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg), an immunoconjugate targeting CD33, resulted in significantly prolonged event-free survival but not overall survival when added...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes

Past Exposure to Thiopurines Associated With Increased Risk of Myeloid Disorders in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Past exposure to immunosuppressive drugs called thiopurines has been found to increase the risk of myeloid disorders, such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The findings were reported by Lopez et al in Clinical...

leukemia

Musculoskeletal Pain May Be Sign of Potential Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Withdrawal Syndrome in CML

In a letter to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Richter et al describe a potential tyrosine kinase inhibitor withdrawal syndrome characterized by musculoskeletal pain after stopping tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Onset After Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Minimal Residual Disease–Based Risk-Directed Therapy Is Effective in Children With BCR-ABL1–Like B-Cell ALL

BCR-ABL1–like acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a recently identified B-cell ALL subtype associated with poor outcome, has a gene-expression profile similar to BCR-ABL1–positive disease without the presence of the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein. In a retrospective analysis reported in the...

leukemia

FDA Expands Approved Use of Ibrutinib for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today expanded the approved use of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who carry deletions of the short arm of chromosome 17, which are associated with poor responses to standard treatment for CLL. Ibrutinib...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
lymphoma

FDA Approves Idelalisib for Three Types of Blood Cancers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved idelalisib (Zydelig) for the treatment of patients with three types of blood cancers. Idelalisib is being granted traditional approval to treat patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Used in combination with rituximab...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Researchers Identify Events Causing Bone Marrow Inflammation Leading to Blood Disorders

According to a new study, a cascade of molecular events in the bone marrow produces high levels of inflammation that disrupt normal blood formation and lead to potentially deadly disorders including leukemia. The discovery, published by the journal Cell Stem Cell, points the way to potential...

leukemia

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Investigational Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory ALL

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy status to CTL019, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The Breakthrough Therapy filing...

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