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Novel Therapies Likely to Transform AML Landscape

Gina Columbus and Elizabeth Leick
Published: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017

Martin S. Tallman, MD

Martin S. Tallman, MD

A combination regimen of the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax (Venclexta) plus low-dose cytarabine (Depocyt) demonstrated an acceptable safety and pharmacokinetic profile in elderly patients with treatment-naïve acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to findings of a phase I dose-expansion study presented at the 2016 ASH Annual Meeting.1

® State of the Science Summit on Hematologic Malignancies, sat down for an interview to discuss these novel therapies and the future role of transplantation in more detail.

OncLive: Can you provide an overview of your presentation?

Tallman: The presentation has to do with the state of the art in the treatment of AML in 2017. The state of the art rests on a number of principles. First, the disease is really defined today by cytogenetic and molecular or genomic abnormalities. Second, induction chemotherapy can be intensified for the benefit of patients. Third, consolidation might be able to be deintensified. Fourth, the benefit of allogeneic transplantation has only increased, and there has been an expanded pool of patients who may benefit from transplantation.

Fifth, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of minimal residual disease studies, both following intensive chemotherapy and before allogeneic transplantation. Finally, and perhaps the most exciting, is the development of new agents that are very promising in the treatment of AML today.

What role will transplant continue to have as more agents are developed and improved going forward?

More patients are able to undergo transplantation. First of all, we’re able to transplant older adults more safely. We have been able to expand the pool of patients who are potential candidates because of increasing graph sources such as umbilical cord, haploidentical transplant, and combinations of umbilical cord and haploidentical transplant.
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