ASH 2018 News - Episode 1

OncLive News Network On Location: In San Diego Saturday, December 1


We are on site at the San Diego Convention Center in California at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting!

We’ll be recapping some of the top news presented each day during the meeting—and soon we’ll speak with Dr John Pagel on data being presented across hematologic malignancies, and Dr Noopur Raje on some intriguing multiple myeloma studies.

Welcome to OncLive News Network! I’m Gina Columbus.

Phase III findings of the MEDALIST trial demonstrated that luspatercept significantly reduced the need for frequent blood transfusions in 53% of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes who were anemic, required regular red blood cell transfusions, and showed abnormal iron overload in red blood cell precursors prior to study enrollment.

Specifically, 38% of patients who received luspatercept were able to avoid red blood cell transfusions for at least 8 weeks.


In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, results of the FLYER trial showed that 4 cycles of R-CHOP plus 2 cycles of rituximab is noninferior to the standard 6 cycles of R-CHOP therapy in young patients with favorable prognosis disease outcome, suggesting that less chemotherapy is an option for this population.

A total 592 patients were randomized in the international, multicenter trial and 588 were evaluable for the final analysis. The rates of progression-free, event-free, and overall survival were comparable in both arms.


Phase III results of the Alliance North American Intergroup Study A041202 showed that ibrutinib has a progression-free survival benefit compared with standard chemoimmunotherapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who are at least 65 years of age.

However, adding rituximab to ibrutinib did not improve PFS. The median overall survival had not been reached for either treatment arm.


Also in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, findings of a phase I/II trial demonstrated that the concurrent administration of ibrutinib and the CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy JCAR014 was well tolerated in most patients with relapsed/refractory disease.

The approach showed that there was also higher in vivo expansion of CD4-positive CAR T cells and lower rates of severe toxicity, specifically rates of grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome compared with outcomes for a similar group of patients who received JCAR014 without the BTK inhibitor.


Updated data from the ELIANA trial showed that a single infusion of tisagenlecleucel continues to have efficacy in pediatric and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia without additional therapy. Regarding safety, adverse events were effectively and reproducibly managed.

The CAR T-cell therapy continues to elicit high overall response rates and deep remissions. Moreover, the median duration of response and overall survival have not been reached with the additional 11 months of follow-up data.


Also in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, results of a single-insitution study showed that checkpoint inhibitors can effectively and safely be combined with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in pediatric patients with relapsed B-ALL. Additionally, this approach may augment CAR T-cell effect and persistence.

Antitumor responses were specifically observed in patients with early B-cell recovery and bulky extramedullary disease. However, PD-1 inhibitors had partial but not durable effects on 4 patients with B-ALL. Moreover, no unexpected or fatal toxicities were seen.


In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an updated analysis of the JULIET trial confirmed that tisagenlecleucel produces high response rates and durable responses in a cohort of heavily pretreated adult patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL. The clinical activity was observed across all predefined subgroups, including elderly patients, those with relapsed/refractory disease, and other clinical or biological subgroups expected to have a worse prognosis with available therapy.

Additionally, no patients proceeded to allogeneic stem cell transplant or autologous stem cell transplant while in remission.

For a full review of all of these studies, please visit

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s OncLive News Network: On Location, where we will sit down with Dr Ruben Mesa of UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center on myeloproliferative neoplasms, C. Ola Landgren on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on multiple myeloma, and Pinkal Desai of Weill Cornell Medicine on acute myeloid leukemia.

Thank you for watching OncLive News Network! I’m Gina Columbus.