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Role of Checkpoint Inhibition in Most Hematologic Cancers Unclear, But Potential Remains

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Saad Z. Usmani, MD
Saad Z. Usmani, MD
Checkpoint inhibition may have demonstrated promising findings in some hematologic malignancies, such as Hodgkin lymphoma, but PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors have caused safety concerns when added to immunomodulatory agents in others, specifically multiple myeloma.

State of the Science Summit™ on Hematologic Malignancies, Usmani, director of clinical research (hematologic malignancies), director of plasma cell disorders, clinical associate professor of medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, discussed the current state of immune checkpoint inhibitors in hematologic cancers, recent setbacks, and ongoing studies that could further shape the landscape.

OncLive: You lectured on immunotherapy for B-cell malignancies and multiple myeloma. What did you share with the audience?

Usmani: My presentation covered some of the emerging and future immunotherapy strategies for B-cell malignancies, as well as multiple myeloma. These would include not just the monoclonal antibody-based strategies, but also cellular therapy–based strategies, including T-cell receptor (TCR) T cells, CAR T cells, and bispecific monoclonal antibodies. [I also provided] some of the historic perspective efficacy data, as well as safety profile issues, and where we are heading in the field with regards to those technologies. 

Earlier studies have showed minimal efficacy with checkpoint inhibitors in B-cell malignancies and even less in multiple myeloma. Can you speak to how efforts have evolved since then?

In terms of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, we have seen efficacy first in the Hodgkin lymphoma realm; the original clinical observations were published a little more than 3 years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, and that was with nivolumab in advanced patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.
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View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 22nd Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies®: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas and MyelomaMay 30, 20192.0
Medical Crossfire®: Personalizing Care for Multiple Myeloma Patients: Current and Future Sequencing StrategiesMay 31, 20191.5
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