Conference Coverage

ASH 2018 coming attractions look at the big picture


Among these star attractions are results of a phase 3, randomized study of daratumumab (Darzalex) plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone versus lenalidomide-dexamethasone alone for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for transplant.

The investigators found that adding daratumumab reduced the risk of disease progression or death by close to 50%, supporting the combination as a new standard of care in these patients, according to Thierry Facon, MD, from the Hospital Claude Huriez in Lille, France, and colleagues (abstract LBA-2).

Two other late-breakers deal with CLL. The first, a randomized, phase 3 study of ibrutinib-based therapy versus standard fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab chemoimmunotherapy in younger patients with untreated CLL, found that ibrutinib and rituximab provided significantly better progression-free survival and overall survival (abstract LBA-4).

“These findings have immediate practice-changing implications and establish ibrutinib-based therapy as the most efficacious first-line therapy for patients with CLL,” wrote Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, from Stanford (Calif.) University, and colleagues.

On a less positive note, Australian researchers report their discovery of a recurrent mutation in BCL2 that confers resistance to venetoclax (Venclexta) in patients with progressive CLL (abstract LBA-7).

“This mutation provides new insights into the pathobiology of venetoclax resistance and provides a potential biomarker of impending clinical relapse,” wrote Piers Blombery, MBBS, from the University of Melbourne, and colleagues.

Finally, investigators from children’s hospitals in the United States and Europe report promising findings on the safety and efficacy of emapalumab for the treatment of patients with the rare genetic disorder primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

The drug, newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, was able to control HLH’s hyperinflammatory activity, and allowed a substantial proportion of patients to survive to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the investigators said (abstract LBA-6­).


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