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American Society of Hematology, Dec. 3-6

Last Updated: December 08, 2016.

The 58th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition

The annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology was held from Dec. 3 to 6 in San Diego and attracted approximately 22,000 participants from around the world, including hematology specialists as well as clinical practitioners and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems.

In a phase 1B study, Harry Erba, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and colleagues found vadastuximab talirine in combination with standard chemotherapy (cytarabine plus anthracycline) to be safe for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The investigators administered vadastuximab talirine in combination with standard chemotherapy to 42 patients with AML and found no increased toxicity or mortality as compared to anticipated adverse effects tied to standard chemotherapy alone. The most common adverse events associated with vadastuximab talirine in combination with standard chemotherapy were nausea (55 percent), diarrhea (33 percent), and constipation (31 percent).

In terms of efficacy, early findings demonstrate a total of 78 percent of patients achieving remission, which included 60 percent achieving complete remission and 18 percent achieving remission with incomplete blood count recovery.

"I think we can safely give vadastuximab talirine in combination with chemotherapy," Erba said in a statement. "The next question to study is whether it improves long-term disease-free survival. There's much reason to be hopeful that such an investigation will have positive results."

The study was funded by Seattle Genetics, the manufacturer of vadastuximab talirine.


In another study, David Miklos, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues found that ibrutinib was effective in patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) who had received stem cell transplantation and corticosteroid treatment.

Among the 42 patients enrolled in the study, the investigators found that 67 percent of patients responded to treatment and 71 percent achieved sustained improvements over a five-month period. While the drug appears to be effective, ibrutinib was associated with serious adverse events, including pneumonia, septic shock, or severe fever in 45 percent of patients.

"This is a very high response rate," Miklos said in a statement. "These data are remarkable, and ibrutinib appears to exceed the therapeutic benefits of other agents. I think clinicians will find these data support the use of ibrutinib in patients with steroid-refractory chronic GVHD who currently suffer a range of symptoms that can be chronic and debilitating."

The study was funded by Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company, which manufactures ibrutinib.


Evi X. Stavrou, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues evaluated ClotChip, a novel dielectric microfluidic sensor, for monitoring of coagulation and platelet function in specific patient populations.

"Currently available handheld point-of-care devices are used to monitor specific patient populations, provide a crude assessment of the coagulation process, and do not account for the contribution of platelets to the hemostatic process," Stavrou said. "ClotChip, a novel dielectric microfluidic sensor, uses a single drop of blood to rapidly provide a complete report on a patient's hemostatic ability. The device is portable and provides results in a few minutes."


ASH: Single Dose of Gene Therapy Effective in Hemophilia B

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of an experimental gene therapy may benefit patients with hemophilia B, according to trial results presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 3 to 6 in San Diego.

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ASH: Synthetic Blood Cell Passes Proof-of-Concept Testing

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- According to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 3 to 6 in San Diego, an artificial red blood cell has been created that can effectively pick up oxygen in the lungs and deliver it to tissues throughout the body.

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ASH: Lower Rate of Sickle Cell Pain Crises With Crizanlizumab

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose crizanlizumab treatment is associated with a significantly lower rate of sickle cell-related pain crises than placebo, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in The New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 3 to 6 in San Diego.

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