Graphic illustrating blood cancer

Roswell Park Hematologists Present New Research on FLT3 Inhibitors, CART-19 at ASH Annual Meeting

Teams led or contributed to highly anticipated studies on new treatments for acute leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma

Highlights
  • Topics include new drug combinations and T-cell immunotherapy advances
  • Results from both early- and late-stage clinical trials to be highlighted
  • Studies already influencing the way blood cancers are treated

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center hematology experts in leukemia, lymphoma and other specialties will present new research at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which begins today in Atlanta, Georgia. The many research projects to be highlighted include breakthrough research on CAR T cell therapy, immunotherapy, leukemia, lymphoma and the management of genetic mutations in aggressive and rare blood cancers.

“We’re excited to share insights from our work to develop new and better therapies for patients with blood cancers. Our presentations range from the results of early-stage research on new, promising treatment options to major international studies that are already changing the way we treat some cancers and providing the support for new drug approvals,” says Philip McCarthy, MD, Vice Chair of Hematologic Malignancies and Director of Transplant & Cellular Therapy. 

On Monday, Dec. 13, two Roswell Park specialists in FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will present study findings that could shape the treatment of this rapidly progressing cancer. At 3:30 p.m., an internationally recognized expert in FLT3-associated AML, Eunice Wang, MD, Chief of Leukemia, will give a podium presentation highlighting findings from a multicenter study of a new treatment combination (abstract 700). Dr. Wang is the first author of this study, which demonstrates the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of gilteritinib (a FLT3 inhibitor) plus azacitidine chemotherapy in patients with FLT3-mutated relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Also presenting key research in FLT3-associated AML Monday, in a 5:30 p.m. podium presentation, is Pamela Sung, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Therapeutics (abstract 785). Dr. Sung is first author on a study that uncovered a potential target for drugs designed to inhibit FLT3, a mutation that generally carries a poor prognosis. The study revealed the importance of a histone methyltransferase, EZH2, and suggests that a combination of FLT3 and EZH2 inhibitors could improve responses to treatment in AML patients with this particular mutation.

Francisco Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, MD, Chief of Lymphoma, contributed to a practice-changing study to be highlighted today in a talk from a collaborator from the University of Colorado Cancer Center (abstract 91). These eagerly awaited results from the TRANSFORM study demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of lisocabtagene maraleucel (“liso-cel”) CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CART-19) in comparison to standard of care (high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell support) in patients with primary refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

“The results of the study are likely to change the treatment paradigm for some patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma,” notes Dr. Hernandez. “In addition, it highlights the clinical significance in the development of novel immunotherapy treatments in hematological malignancies.”

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, Deputy Director and the Katherine Anne Gioia Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine, is a co-author on a study being presented in a highly anticipated talk (abstract 827) outlining the results of an early-phase trial of MCARH109, a new CAR T cellular therapy. The findings of this study, which was conducted in patients with multiple myeloma that recurred after treatment with other therapies, will be presented Monday at 5:30 p.m. by a researcher from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“We believe this work, while early, is demonstrating very promising and exciting outcomes and will provide yet another effective therapeutic approach for patients with multiple myeloma,” says Dr. Brentjens.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, at 9:30 a.m., Elizabeth Griffiths, MD, Director of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) at Roswell Park, will discuss the importance of dose, schedule and adherence for optimal efficacy of hypomethylating agents in the treatment of patients with MDS during an educational session, “MDS: Beyond a One-Size-Fits-All Approach.” Dr. Griffiths contributed to several studies that are being presented at this year’s meeting, including one that identified a new risk factor for bleeding in adult patients with MDS (abstract 3637) and another that reports on the safety effectiveness of a drug combination (oral decitabine and cedazuridine) in patients with lower-risk MDS (abstract 66).

Hemn Mohammadpour, PhD, DVM, a postdoctoral research affiliate with Roswell Park’s Department of Immunology, has been selected to receive an ASH Abstract Achievement Award for abstract 2765, “Galectin-3 Signaling in Donor T Cells Regulates Acute Graft Versus Host Disease (aGvHD) after Allogenic Transplantation.” Dr. Mohammadpour will present the findings of this Roswell Park study, which establishes the feasibility of manipulating Galectin-3 signaling to ameliorate acute graft-versus-host disease, in a poster session Sunday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.
 

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Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.

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Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org