Roswell Park Hematology Experts Sharing New Research in ASH 2017 Podium Presentations

Drs. Eunice Wang and Kara Kelly led studies in acute leukemia in adults, Hodgkin lymphoma in children/adolescents

  • Annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology underway in Atlanta
  • Dr. Wang gives talk highlighting promising new therapy for AML leukemia
  • Dr. Kelly led research on what’s driving outcomes gaps in Hodgkin lymphoma

ATLANTA — Experts from around the world who specialize in cancers of the blood, bone marrow and immune system are gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, for the 59th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition, the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Many Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center clinician-scientists are presenting new findings at the conference, including two whose research is being highlighted in podium presentations.

Eunice Wang, MD, Chief of Leukemia at the Buffalo, N.Y.-based comprehensive cancer center, was invited to discuss the clinical outcomes of a phase II clinical trial of crenolanib, a new agent that has shown promise as a therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common and aggressive blood cancer diagnosed in adults. Dr. Wang and a multi-institutional team of collaborators are reporting results of a study assessing the effectiveness of crenolanib in combination with standard chemotherapy.

Eunice Wang, MD
Dr. Eunice Wang, Chief of Leukemia at Roswell Park.

“Because AML patients with mutations in their FLT3 genes have considerably worse outcomes, controlling or inhibiting the effects of this mutation has been one of the main focuses of drug development in the last few years,” says Dr. Wang. Another FLT3 inhibitor, the FDA-approved therapy midostaurin, represents a significant advance but one with several clear limitations, including a high rate of relapse. “Our findings suggest that crenolanib may be a more effective FLT3 inhibitor than midostaurin,” Dr. Wang adds, “and set the stage for a larger randomized clinical trial comparing crenolanib to midostaurin to determine which FLT3 inhibitor will most benefit patients who are diagnosed with this poor-prognosis subtype of AML.”

Dr. Wang’s presentation begins at 7:15 a.m. today in the Georgia World Congress Center, room Murphy BR 1-2. A summary of this study, ASH 2017 abstract 566, “Low Relapse Rate in Younger Patients ≤ 60 Years Old with Newly Diagnosed FLT3-Mutated Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Treated with Crenolanib and Cytarabine/Anthracycline Chemotherapy,” is available online.

Kara Kelly, MD
Dr. Kara Kelly, Waldemar J. Kaminski Chair of Pediatrics at Roswell Park.

Another Roswell Park faculty leader, Kara Kelly, MD, the Waldemar J. Kaminski Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at the Institute, was senior author on a new analysis of Children’s Oncology Group data regarding more than 2,000 children and adolescents with newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma. While many studies suggest that low socioeconomic status and black or Hispanic race/ethnicity are associated with reduced survival for children and adolescents with this disease, evidence for what’s driving these concerning disparities has been quite limited. The team looked at a wider pool of data seeking evidence that might explain these outcomes gaps and suggest strategies for addressing them.

“We examined the outcomes for 2,071 patients alongside a variety of key factors, including participation in clinical trials, access to care, patients’ individual characteristics and tumor biology,” says Dr. Kelly, who is also Professor of Pediatrics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, and Program Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “Our team observed no differences in survival by race or ethnicity — a finding of great significance for patients and their families because it suggests that the survival gap we have seen can be reduced by access to clinical trials, which allows delivery of comparable therapy to patients from all backgrounds.”

The team’s findings will be presented by Justine Kahn, MD, of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center today at 7 a.m. in the Georgia World Congress Center, Room B206. A summary of this study, ASH abstract 607, “Survival By Race/Ethnicity in Children and Adolescents with Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated on Cooperative Group Trials in the U.S. and Canada: A Pooled Analysis of Children’s Oncology Group Trials,” is available online.


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The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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