Harry Erba, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hematologic Malignancy Program, discusses the results of a phase II study analyzing azacitidine and gemtuzumab ozogamicin as induction and post-remission therapy in patients of age 60 and older with previously untreated non-M3 acute myeloid leukemia.
Data from the good risk cohort were presented at ASCO 2012. The results of the poor risk patients were presented at the 2012 American Society of Hematology Meeting. Of the 54 total poor risk patients that were treated, 35% achieved a complete remission or CRi. The study found median progression-free survival to be seven months and median overall survival six months.
In the entire study, between 30% and 50% of patients responded to the combination of azacitidine and gemtuzumab ozogamicin, Erba says, and that it remains unclear how patients would have responded to either agent as monotherapy or to intensive chemotherapy.
Take a prognosis of three years, multiply it by 10, and what do you get? A staggering improvement in the survival of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and a crucial steppingstone on the road to the targeted treatment of cancer.