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News and Treatment Updates

Here's where you'll find a regularly updated, broad range of articles written by the AAMDSIF team, allied health organizations and news organizations. By staying well-informed, patients and families are practicing a form of self-support that will help them be more effective self-advocates when engaging with health care providers.

Human and artificial intelligence to illuminate MDS

Originally Published: 11/12/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
In this issue of Blood, Nagata et al show for the first time that machine learning (ML) algorithms can discern patterns and identify diagnostically and prognostically relevant associations between genetic variants and cytomorphological changes in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), correlations that are too subtle or complex for the human eye to observe. We know about many phenotype-genotype correlations in hematology, including PML-RARA and the classic hypergranular abnormal promyelocytes of acute promyelocytic leukemia, germline GATA2 mutations, and myelokathexis. In MDS, examples include the...

New Strategies Improve Outcomes for Lower-Risk MDS

Originally Published: 11/04/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a challenging and complicated disease with median outcomes ranging from 5.3 years in patients with lower-risk disease to just 8.4 months in the very high-risk population.1,2 However, newly approved agents entering the armamentarium are providing better outcomes for patients with MDS, especially for those with lower-risk disease. Gail J. Roboz, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Clinical and Translational Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, detailed potential causes and risk...

Beat AML Master Clinical Trial Showcases Paradigm Shift With Precision Medicine

Originally Published: 10/28/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
Delaying treatment for up to 7 days so that genomic data can be utilized to inform a personalized treatment approach is safe, feasible, and can improve overall survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. John C. Byrd, MD Delaying treatment for up to 7 days so that genomic data can be utilized to inform a personalized treatment approach is safe, feasible, and can improve overall survival (OS) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to results from the Beat AML Master clinical trial (NCT03013998) published in Nature Medicine.1 Results showed that the trial met its...

Outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 3377 patients

Originally Published: 10/28/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
Key Points Adult patients with hematologic malignancy and COVID-19 have a 34% risk of death, while pediatric patients have a 4% risk of death. Patients on systemic anti-cancer therapy had a similar risk of death to patients on no treatment (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.83-1.64). Outcomes for patients with hematologic malignancy infected with COVID-19 have not been aggregated. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the risk of death and other important outcomes for these patients. We searched Pubmed and EMBASE up to August 20, 2020, to identify...

Fresh vs. frozen allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell grafts: A successful timely option

Originally Published: 10/27/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
Cryopreservation of grafts has been established in autologous and cord blood transplantation, yet there is little experience regarding the effect of cryopreservation with sibling and unrelated grafts. We evaluated the effect of cryopreservation of grafts on allogeneic transplant outcomes using related, unrelated and haploidentical donors, including 958 patients, age 18‐74 years (median 55) and using PBSC for various hematologic malignancies. Fresh grafts were received by 648 (68%) patients, 310 (32%) received cryopreserved. There was no difference between fresh vs cryopreserved grafts for...

Does Cancer Chemotherapy Increase My Covid Risks?

Originally Published: 10/07/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
By Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D. Oct. 7, 2020 Q. I have cancer and am being treated with chemotherapy. Am I at increased risk of getting sick and dying from Covid-19? A. People with cancer, and particularly those with leukemia, seem to have a higher death rate from Covid-19 than the general population, though cancer chemotherapy does not appear to further increase the risk of dying from Covid. Studies, however, have been limited and results are sometimes difficult to interpret. Many types of chemotherapy work by disrupting the cancer cell’s machinery that allows it to divide and grow so rapidly...

Rogue Antibodies and Gene Mutations Explain Some Cases of Severe COVID-19

Originally Published: 10/06/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
One of the many perplexing issues with COVID-19 is that it affects people so differently. That has researchers trying to explain why some folks bounce right back from the virus, or don’t even know they have it—while others become critically ill. Now, two NIH-funded studies suggest that one reason some otherwise healthy people become gravely ill may be previously unknown trouble spots in their immune systems, which hamper their ability to fight the virus. According to the new findings in hundreds of racially diverse people with life-threatening COVID-19, a small percentage of people who...

Treatment Approaches in AML: Key Testing for Personalized Care

Originally Published: 09/16/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
VIDEO  Description:  Treatment Approaches in AML: Key Testing for Personalized Care from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo. When it comes to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), genetic testing (or biomarker testing) is essential in helping to determine the best treatment approach for YOU. In this program, AML expert, Dr. Naval Daver reviews key decision-making factors, current AML treatments and emerging research for patients with AML. Dr. Naval Daver is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.   Watch the video and read the...

Researchers describe impact of SF3B1 mutations in myelodysplastic syndrome

Originally Published: 09/14/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
SF3B1 mutations occurred more frequently in de novo myelodysplastic syndromes than therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome, according to results of a phase 2 study presented at Society of Hematologic Oncology Annual Meeting. Additionally, SF3B1 mutations appeared associated with improved survival among patients with de novo vs. therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). However, among patients with treatment-related disease, those with SF3B1 mutations had better outcomes than those with wild-type SF3B1. (Article and Charts continue at link)

Talati Highlights “Game-Changing” Potential of Venetoclax/HMA Combos for Elderly AML

Originally Published: 09/08/2020
Article Source: External Web Content
Chetasi Talati, MD, discusses early results from a multicenter chart review examining treatment patterns and outcomes of patients with newly diagnosed AML who received venetoclax/HMA combinations in the real-world setting and the next phase of the ongoing research initiative. Chetasi Talati, MD Chetasi Talati, MD Early data suggest that the low-intensity combination of venetoclax (Venclexta) and hypomethylating agents (HMAs) may be a “game-changer” for patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to Chetasi Talati, MD, especially for older patients who may not...