ASH 2012 brought to fore many new drugs that look promising. The highlight of the event was the leukemia cure by Dr. Carl June, where patient’s genetically manipulated T-cells initiated an immune response against her cancer cells bringing about complete remission. The research has rekindled hope for a complete remission in aggressive forms of leukemia and other hematological cancers. Whether the method may also be extended to solid tumors…only time will tell.
Pomalidomide and protease inhibitor MLN9708 stole the show with promising trial results in multiple myeloma. We asked physicians who attended and presented research results at the ASH 2012 for their ASH summaries, and given below are their inputs:
Dr. Berenson, ASH 2012
Dr. James R. Berenson from IMBCR (Institute of Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research) summarized ASH with these points:
- The proteasome inhibitors carfilzomib and oral agent ixazomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone lead to very high response rates and long remissions for myeloma patients.
- For myeloma patients failing bortezomib-combination treatments, replacing bortezomib with carfilzomib is able to produce high response rates.
- Pomalidomide in combination with dexamethasone leads to responses among myeloma patients who have failed lenalidomide.
- Antibodies to CS-1 and CD138 in combination with other anti-myeloma drugs show promising early results for myeloma patients.
- BCMA represents a new serum protein marker to predict survival and response to therapy in myeloma.
Dr. Ravi Vij, ASH 2012
Dr. Ravi Vij, Associate Professor, the Washington University School of Medicine shared the names of promising drugs being investigated based on their clinical trial results.
- Multiple Myeloma: Carfilzomib (high dose and combinations), pomalidomide (randomized trials vs high dose dex), elotuzumab, daratumumab
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): Blinatumumab, Ionotuzumab
- CML: Ponatinib (PACE trial)
- CLL and Lymphomas: BTK inhibitor, CAL-101, ABT – 199, Infinity Pl-3K inhibitor
Pat Killingsworth, ASH 2012
We asked myeloma blogger and noted myeloma author Pat Killingsworth for his ASH summary from a patient’s perspective and this is what he wrote in…
|Multiple myeloma patient and medical writer/blogger’s observations from this year’s ASH meetings in Atlanta:
- Biggest news wasn’t myeloma related. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania developed an aggressive new immunotherapy approach that used the AIDS virus to help reprogram a young girl’s T cells to genetically kill her leukemia’s B cells. The most hopeful game changer I have seen in my four years attending ASH.
NOTE: Since I my job was to cover myeloma news for the IMF at ASH this year, that is where my focus was. Next four observations have to do with myeloma research and trial results.
- Celgene’s oral IMiD, pomalidomide, continued to post good numbers and should still be on-track for FDA approval in February. This should have had everyone excited, considering Onyx’s Kyprolis was the first new myeloma drug to be approved by the FDA this summer in over six years. But it doesn’t seem to be working-out that way. Sort of like the stock market builds-in profits or losses ahead of an event
- Millennium Pharmaceuticals new oral proteasome inhibitor, MLN9708, looks like a real winner! Hopefully, it can be fast-tracked for approval in the next two or three years
- The above mentioned Kyprolis is working better than expected when combined with a number of other novel therapy agents. Therapy combinations are the future. One expert I heard from suggested as many as four or more drugs might eventually be used to treat a newly diagnosed patient, hopefully stalling-out the myeloma before it can get started
- Dozens of different experimental drugs – including immunotherapy agents – showed enough activity in live patient trials to justify moving-on to the next level.
Overall, this was the most promising ASH that I have attended to date. True, there wasn’t any blockbuster news – there rarely is. But, I saw more incremental progress across the board than I have ever seen. Most of the oral presentations I attended revealed positive results. A cure? Not even close. New ways to overcome drug resistance? Maybe? Only time will tell!
- Could amazing leukemia therapy hold key to myeloma cure?
- Hurry and Register! Pat Killingsworth Discusses Myeloma CURE versus CONTROL on Monday 29 October 2012 @ 7pm EST on Myeloma Cure Panel
- Myeloma Cure Panel Highlights: Dr. Parameswaran Hari Talks On Multiple Myeloma Disease Progression and Treatment – Part 1
- ‘First Remission is the Best Remission’, Dr. Parameswaran Hari On Myeloma and Treatment of Relapse: Myeloma Cure Panel Highlights Part 2
- Catch Myeloma Cure Panel on BlogTalkRadio On 22 August 2012!