Hematologic Cancers

Although hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is curative for some patients with hematologic malignancies, a recent study found substantial long-term physical and psychological morbidity, as well as increased risk of dying among HCT survivors. The study suggests that patients slated to undergo HCT should be aware of the potential long-term health risks associated with transplant and should be monitored accordingly. The study was presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Treatment response in patients with acute leukemia is traditionally measured by searching for leukemic cells that persist during chemotherapy. This is done by screening smears of bone marrow aspirates and peripheral blood samples using light microscopy, striving to identify leukemic cells by their morphologic features. Read More ›

In 2011, the American Cancer Society projected there would be 20,520 cases of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) and 10,610 deaths from the disease that year.1 MM is an incurable hematologic cancer marked by great heterogeneity, in terms of its biology and clinical course. Morbidity and survival rates vary widely, even in the age of novel, molecularly based targeted therapies. Many factors account for differences in prognoses among patients with MM, including genomic aberrations in the plasma cells of the myeloma neoplasm. Read More ›

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of closely related hematologic malignancies that arise from abnormal development and function of the body’s bone marrow cells. Primary myelofibrosis (PMF), polycythemia vera (PV), and essential thrombocythemia (ET) comprise the Philadel phia chromosome (Ph)-negative MPNs.1 Myelofibrosis (MF) can arise on its own, which is called PMF, or it can result from the progression of other MPNs, such as postpolycythemia vera MF (PPVMF) and postessential throm bocythemia MF (PET-MF).1

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CHICAGO—Treatments for multiple myeloma have advanced rapidly over the past 15 years as research has fostered an improved understanding of the mechanisms of the disease. These discoveries have been translated into effective drugs, most notably bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide.

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CHICAGO—Decitabine extends overall survival and improves response rates compared with standard therapies in the treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), said Xavier G. Thomas, MD, PhD.

The treatment options for older patients with AML are limited. Intensive chemotherapy is generally poorly tolerated in this group, the initial mortality rate is high (exceeding 30% at 8 weeks), the response rate to chemotherapy is poor, and relapse rates are high.

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A combination of fludarabine, pixantrone, dexamethasone, and rituximab (FPD-R) achieved major durable responses in patients with relapsed or refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a single-arm phase 1 dose-escalation study. The study identified a dose of 120 mg/m2pixantrone as the recommended dose for this regimen. The overall response rate with this regimen was 89%, and the regimen was well tolerated with no grade 3/4 cardiovascular adverse events. Grade 3/4 lymphopenia occurred, however, in 89% of patients and leukopenia in 79%.


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Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receive unnecessarily high-dose levels of chemotherapy, according to Dr Bob Löwenberg, professor of Hematology at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands at the 16th Congress of the European Hematology Association.


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