Preview of ASH 2017: Key Expert-Selected Studies

Christopher R. Flowers, MD, MS

Director, Lymphoma Program
Medical Director, Oncology Data Center
Associate Professor
Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation
Department of Hematology and Oncology
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia

Christopher R. Flowers, MD, has disclosed that he has served as a consultant for AbbVie, Bayer, Celgene (unpaid), Genetech/Roche (unpaid), Gilead Sciences, Karyopharm, Pharmacyclics/Janssen, and Spectrum and has received funds for research support from AbbVie, Acerta, Celgene, Gilead Sciences, Genentech/Roche, Janssen, Millennium/Takeda, Pharmacyclics, and TG Therapeutics.

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Released: December 6, 2017

Preview of ASH 2017: Key Expert-Selected Studies

At the 2017 ASH annual meeting, important results from many clinical trials in malignant and nonmalignant hematology are being reported. Below, hematology experts have highlighted their most anticipated abstracts, which we will cover online as a part of CCO’s Independent Conference Coverage of ASH 2017. As the ASH annual meeting unfolds, remember to check the CCO Web site often for downloadable slidesets summarizing the data from these studies and more, and then again after the meeting for CME-certified online activities featuring expert analysis and perspective on the clinical implications of the data.

Top Picks: Lymphomas/CLL
John M. Burke, MD, and Christopher R. Flowers, MD, have selected some of the most clinically relevant abstracts from ASH for physicians who treat patients with lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma, potentially practice-changing results will be presented from the phase III ECHELON-1 study comparing the addition of the antibody–drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin to chemotherapy vs standard-of-care chemotherapy as first-line treatment. In relapsed/refractory (R/R) mantle cell lymphoma, promising results will be shown from the phase II ACE-LY-004 study of acalabrutinib monotherapy in this hard-to-treat patient population. In addition, exciting results on CAR T-cell therapy for R/R diffuse large B-cell lymphoma continue to be reported, including the primary analysis of the phase II JULIET trial of tisagenlecleucel (CTL019), long-term follow-up data from the phase I/II ZUMA-1 trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel (KTE-C19), and an analysis of clinical attributes correlating with clinical outcomes from the phase I TRANSCEND NHL 001 trial of JCAR017. Finally, results from the late-breaking abstract on the interim analysis of the phase III MURANO study suggest that the combination of venetoclax plus rituximab is superior to bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with R/R chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a result that is sure to have an impact on practice.

Top Picks: Leukemias
Farhad Ravandi, MD, and B. Douglas Smith, MD, have identified key studies in acute leukemias that they are eager to see at ASH 2017. The most exciting data in acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the first report from the phase II Gimema LAL1811 study showing high efficacy and a manageable safety profile for the combination of ponatinib plus a steroid in unfit/elderly patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In R/R acute myeloid leukemia (AML), promising data on ivosidenib in IDH1-mutant R/R AML forecasts a potential new treatment option on the horizon for this hard-to-treat patient population. Progress in predicting patient outcomes in AML is another highlight at ASH 2017. In a post hoc analysis of the phase III RATIFY trial of midostaurin plus chemotherapy in newly diagnosed FLT3-mutant AML, NPM1/FLT3-ITD genotypes were found to be of high prognostic value, with a numerical survival benefit observed for NPM1wt/FLT3-IDThigh AML treated with midostaurin. Molecular minimal residual disease detection by next-generation sequencing was also shown to be an independent predictor of relapse and survival in newly diagnosed AML.

Top Picks: Multiple Myeloma
Shaji Kumar, MD, and Sagar Lonial, MD, are anticipating the results of numerous clinical trials being presented that are exploring the treatment of R/R myeloma with B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)–targeted CAR T-cells, including the updated phase I multicenter trial data of bb2121 anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy, the phase I trial of anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy with lymphodepleting cyclophosphamide, and the development of a human-derived BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell vector. CAR T-cell therapy has shown promising activity in heavily pretreated patients with R/R myeloma, and the results at ASH 2017 are eagerly anticipated. In addition, a late-breaking abstract will present exciting findings on the use of quad therapy for transplantation-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed myeloma: The phase III ALCYONE trial showed a 50% reduction in the risk of progression or death with the addition of daratumumab to bortezomib/melphalan/prednisone vs bortezomib/melphalan/prednisone alone. New data from the phase III EMN02/HO95 trial will lend more information for the ongoing debate on the role of single vs double autologous stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed myeloma. Finally, investigators are presenting initial data from a phase II trial of carfilzomib/lenalidomide/dexamethasone as a potentially curative approach for patients with smoldering myeloma at high risk of progression (including patients with asymptomatic multiple myeloma).

Additional Studies
The CCO Conference Coverage of ASH 2017 will also include slidesets and analysis of abstracts on nonmalignant hematologic disorders and novel targeted therapies in hematologic malignancies. Important studies in nonmalignant hematologic disorders will include:

A sample of what you will find in our coverage of novel targeted therapies in hematologic malignancies includes results from the phase III MAVORIC study and preliminary phase I data on Blu-285.

Remember to Check the CCO Web Site Often!
These are just a few of the interesting and important abstracts selected by our expert faculty from ASH 2017. Downloadable slideset summaries of these studies and more will be available on our Web site as the data are presented at ASH. After the meeting, comprehensive analyses by our expert faculty members will explore the clinical implications of the data in CME-certified text-based modules.

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This activity is supported by educational grants from
Celgene Corporation
Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Company and Janssen Biotech, Inc., administered by Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Pharmacyclics Inc.
Seattle Genetics
Takeda Oncology

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