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Dr. Zelenetz Previews the 2012 ASH Annual Meeting

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, previews several trials that will likely be presented at the 54th annual ASH meeting.

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Vice Chair, Medical Informatics, Department of Medicine; Chief, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, previews several trials that will likely be presented at the 54th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which will take place December 8-11, 2012 in Atlanta, GA.

Zelenetz highlights an important transplant study that should provide more information on the role of cord blood transplants for adults. Initial research by the University of Minnesota has shown that two units of cord blood with closely matched human leukocyte antigens can be used effectively in adult patients. Since cord blood is a valuable resource, a trial comparing the efficacy of administering one unit of cord blood to two for adult patients has been undertaken and results will be presented in December.

Multiple clinical trials investigating new agents for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) will be presented at the ASH annual meeting. Zelenetz is anticipating updates on the Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib and the PI3K-delta inhibitor CAL-101. Additionally, the newer agent ABT-199 (GDC-0199), a selective Bcl-2 inhibitor, has shown substantial benefits in CLL and perhaps activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Zelenetz explains that this agent is similar to the broader Bcl-2 family protein inhibitor ABT-263 (navitoclax).

Zelenetz is not expecting any substantial results in the area of Hodgkin lymphoma. However, a few larger trials investigating brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) may be presented at the meeting, including one that uses functional imaging data to examine the efficacy of altering treatment based on early assessment with FDG-PET scan.

Overall, at this point, Zelenetz does not foresee any practice changing results at the upcoming ASH meeting but remains optimistic that something unexpected may still be presented.

Watch for an in-depth article in the November issue of OncologyLive previewing the 2012 ASH annual meeting.

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