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Dr. Stephen Smith at ASH 2013

Dr. Stephen Smith at ASH 2013

Dr. Stephen Smith discusses advances in treatment for mantle cell lymphoma at ASH 2013.  Dr. Smith feels this is a time of increased optimism for patients diagnosed with this rare and aggressive lymphoma that has historically been difficult to treat. Two new drugs were recently approved by the FDA.  Revlimid (Lenalidomide) has been approved for patients having had two prior therapies, one including Bortezomib.  Arutenib was given a breakthrough designation by the FDA based on its high clinical trial success, and is approved for patients having had one prior therapy. The challenge now is finding how to integrate these new therapies into current treatment regimens, and see results in real-world use that can differ slightly from clinical trials.  

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Dr. Damian Green at ASH 2013

Dr. Damian Green discusses the role of transplant in treating myeloma.  Autologous stem cell transplant has been an available treatment for a number of years, and while not a lot has changed in transplant research, studies continue to show that it remains a vital part of treatment.   New research is being conducted into the use of pretargeted radio immunotherapy as conditioning for transplant, which has been successful with lymphoma and leukemia.  The pretargeting allows for an increased dose of radiation without added exposure.

Dr. Edward Libby at ASH 2013

Dr. Edward Libby provides an update on multiple myeloma treatment at ASH 2013. Dr. Libby is most excited about the research that's going into monoclonal antibodies for treatment of multiple myeloma.  Monoclonal antibodies are relatively non-toxic, but have added to the quality of response in treatment of other diseases such as lymphoma.  New trials are being conducted with Daratumumab in combination with Revlimid and Dexamethasone, with remarkable results for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Our understanding of smoldering myeloma is rapidly increasing, and positive results have been seen from beginning treatment at this earlier stage. However, Dr. Libby cautions that  there is still much to learn and treatment of smoldering myeloma is not ready for the general world of oncology. 

Dr. John Pagel at ASH 2013

Dr. John Pagel provides an update on the explosion of new targeted biological therapies for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2013 Annual Meeting. These new treatments are offering new hope especially to patients with genetic abnormalities that made them more difficult to treat.  These new drugs often work as well for high risk patients, possibly with just a shorter duration of remission than those at a lower risk.  One example is GA101, a more potent and improved version of the commonly used Rituximab. The majority of CLL treatment is often a combination of therapies, but is evolving to less combinations involving chemotherapy, and more with various biological therapies.  Dr. Pagel gave an example of a clinical trial of patients given Rituximab with either a placebo or Idelalisib (GS1101).  The study was stopped early due to the overwhelming success, and all placebo patients were switched to Idelalisib.

Dr. Ajay Gopal at ASH 2012

In this interview from the 2012 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting Dr. Ajay Gopal, discusses a new study which looks into whether radio immunotherapy could be an improvement for patients with advanced lymphomas. He has pursued an approach to deliver targeted radiation by attaching a radioactive isotope to a monoclonal antibody which specifically targets B-cell lymphomas. They have escalated the dose to the maximum safe dose to deliver more radiation to the tumor sites. The trial replaced a standard high dose therapy regimen with target radiation using radio immunotherapy. Dr. Gopal shares the results of the study.