In the closest thing the medical world has to movie trailers, the American Society of Hematology held a press conference offering
Shorter R-CHOP regimen for DLBCL
Under the heading “Big Trials, Big Results” will be data from thetrial, a phase 3, randomized, deescalation trial in 592 patients aged 18-60 years with favorable-prognosis diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The investigators report that both progression-free survival and overall survival with four cycles of R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone) were noninferior to those for patients treated with six cycles of R-CHOP ( ).
Ibrutinib mastery in CLL
Also on the program are results of a study showing that ibrutinib (Imbruvica), either alone or in combination with rituximab, is associated with superior progression-free survival than bendamustine and rituximab in older patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
The trial, the Alliance North American Intergroup Study A041202 () is the first major trial to pit ibrutinib against the modern standard of immunochemotherapy rather than the older standard of chlorambucil, Dr. Brodsky noted.
Anemia support in beta-thalassemia, MDS
In nonmalignant disease, investigators in the randomized, phase 3trial are reporting results of their study showing that the first-in-class erythroid maturation agent luspatercept was associated with significant reductions in the need for RBC transfusion in adults with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia.
The investigators report that the experimental agent was “generally well tolerated” ().
“Beyond a proof of principle, [this is] certainly a very exciting advancement in this group of patients who otherwise had very few treatment options,” said, associate director of equity and minority health at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, and the current ASH president.
Dr. Thompson also highlighted the MEDALIST trial (), a phase 3, randomized study showing that luspatercept significantly reduced transfusion burden, compared with placebo, in patients with anemia caused by very low–, low-, or intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndrome with ring sideroblasts who require RBC transfusions.
“This group of patients were individuals who were refractory or were not responders or did not tolerate erythropoietic stimulating agents and therefore were requiring regular transfusion,” Dr. Thompson said.
Worth the wait
The late-breaking abstract program was stretched from the usual six abstracts to seven this year because of the unusually high quality of the science, Dr. Brodsky said.