Key Takeaways from Recent Updates in Leukemia


James K. McCloskey, MD, provides an overview of key takeaways from recent studies presented at the 2023 ASH Annual Meeting in leukemia.

This is a synopsis of a Peer Exchange series featuring James K. McCloskey, MD, and Lori A. Leslie, MD, of John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center.

In closing remarks, James K. McCloskey, MD, Chief of the Leukemia Division at the John Theurer Cancer Center, reflects on the velocity of progress in myeloid diseases and leukemias. He notes several trials demonstrating clear benefits for patients with rare blood cancers lacking prior options. The pace of outcome improvements is accelerating, making this an exciting time in the field. However, challenges remain regarding disease rarity and treatment toxicities.

As Dr. McCloskey notes, overcoming these research barriers relies on strong community-academic partnerships. Tertiary centers depend on community physician referrals, especially for clinical trials accrual. All the myeloproliferative neoplasm and leukemia trials discussed, including TRANSFORM-1 in myelofibrosis and PhALLCON in Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, accrued New Jersey and New York patients through such collaborations. Thus, community trust and care coordination is crucial for translating cutting-edge leukemia research into patient benefits.

Additionally, balancing treatment safety in diseases already marked by low blood counts remains important. However, the toxicity profiles seem manageable, and the pace of therapeutic progress is startling. Treatments discussed like navitoclax and ponatinib combinations as well as newer agents on the horizon represent vast improvements over options merely 10 years prior. With multiple new approvals expected soon, marking increased commercial availability, the future is bright.

Overall, despite lingering challenges around rarity and side effects, myeloid malignancy and leukemia treatment is advancing faster than ever through fruitful community-academic partnerships. Continued coordinated efforts centered on patients are imperative to ensure research breakthroughs like those presented at the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting transform into real-world impact for blood cancer patients most in need.

*Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by OncLive editorial staff.

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