Cancer Care: The Next Generation

Dr. Gail Roboz on ABC talks about “taking a chance on something new.” [go]

 

 

 

 

 


Treatment of minimal residual disease in AML patients

 

Gail Roboz, MD from Weill Cornell Medicine discusses minimal residual disease (MRD) found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. According to Dr Roboz the biology of the remaining leukemia cells may not be similar to the bulk disease that was eliminated with initial therapy. Currently there are efforts to characterize and quantify the remaining cells, with the hopes to determine whether existing or novel treatments can be used to lower their number to below the threshold level required for stem cell transplants. Furthermore, stem cell transplants are dramatically less effective if there is minimal residual disease detected so any therapy to reduce these cells may confer an advantage. Recorded at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the British Society of Haematology (BSH) and International Society of Hematology (ISH), in Glasgow, Scotland.

Original story posted to Video Journal of Hematological Oncology [go]


Some Pediatric Regimens Can Be Successful in Adults With ALL

When Jody Winsick-Soluri was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), she found out she had a chromosomal abnormality, the Philadelphia chromosome, which made her prospects bleak.

“I was bleeding out; they said I might only have 24 hours to live,” Winsick-Soluri remembers. Now, after many rounds of chemotherapy, total body irradiation, two bone marrow transplants and seven years, Winsick Soluri takes a targeted drug — Sprycel (dasatinib) — that blocks a protein leukemia cells need to proliferate. “Now, I’m four-and-a-half years out from the last transplant,” the New Jersey mother of four says. “More people with ALL are staying alive a lot longer.”

See the original article posted on March 16, 2016


Phase 3 Trial Shows CPX-351 (Vyxeos) Boosts Overall Survival in AML

Frontline treatment with CPX-351 (Vyxeos) significantly boosted overall survival (OS) for older patients with high-risk, secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) when compared with the current standard of care, cytarabine and daunorubicin, according to data from a phase III trial released by the drug’s developer, Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“These findings confirm that Vyxeos provides the first opportunity we’ve had in decades to extend survival for patients with high-risk AML,” added Gail Roboz, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, said in a statement. “Also, more patients in remission means more who are eligible for potentially curative therapy.” To see the full article and data visit Targeted Oncology

Six Top Medical Institutions Launch Research Alliance Program to ‘CRUSH MDS’, a Rare Form of Blood Cancer

Joint Effort Expands Experts’ Capacity to Develop Treatments, Find a Cure

crush_mds_logoEx-marine Kevin Chambers had always been a strong and powerfully built man. The retired 66-year-old Vietnam War veteran used to work as a professional bodyguard in New York City, providing personal security for major celebrities like Michael Jackson, James Cagney and Barbra Streisand. Last year, Chambers needed a wheelchair and a walker just to get around. 

“I got sick in 2014 and felt so strange and weak in so many ways,” said Chambers. After being initially diagnosed with severe anemia along with two other conditions, later test results showed he had atypical myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a life-threatening bone marrow failure disease. Thanks to his daughter, an editor at ABC’s Good Morning America, Chambers was referred to Dr. Gail Roboz, the specialist who treated the show’s co-anchor Robin Roberts for MDS.

Roboz is with the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, one of the six preeminent institutions that form the MDS Clinical Research Consortium (MDS CRC). The others include the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

The MDS CRC was created with a grant from the Edward P. Evans Foundation. Suffering from MDS himself, philanthropist Evans was determined to speed up drug development by minimizing excessive “red tape” in clinical research. The CRC is the first collaboration of its kind, and its investigators lead unique, high-quality clinical and laboratory studies aimed at improving the lives of MDS patients. It recently launched a website with a public initiative called the Clinical Repository to Understand, Study and Heal Myelodysplastic Syndromes, otherwise known as CRUSH!!MDS.

The consortium works to accelerate and amplify the research conducted at these leading cancer centers. The beneficiaries are patients like Kevin Chambers, who Dr. Roboz quickly involved in a clinical trial. With careful monitoring of his blood cell counts and reactions to drugs, she was able to customize his care with precision treatments that were regularly adjusted based on his progress.

One year later, Chambers is walking again and his strength has vastly improved. He used to need a blood transfusion every two weeks. Now his transfusions are five weeks apart. He jokes that when he has enough blood, he doesn’t even need to nap. “I work very closely with Dr. Roboz and, if I don’t follow what she says, she kind of gives me hell by thanking me for my medical opinion.” That toughness combined with constant attention to the clinical data is how the specialists CRUSH MDS. For more information visit crushmds.org.

Press release originally posted on AAMDS March 2, 2016


AAMDS Patient Conferences 2016

Following are conferences conducted by AAMDS afford you the opportunity to meet top experts and fellow patients at a free program near you:

Living with Aplastic Anemia, MDS, and PNH

Washington, D.C.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration

Cincinnati, OH
Saturday, April 30, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration
*Interactive kids program – art activities to further their understanding, ice cream social

Raleigh, NC
Saturday, July 16, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration

San Diego, CA
Saturday, September 17, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration
*Disease track sessions will be offered in Spanish at this location. For more information and registration, please visit aamds.or/eventos

San Antonio, TX
Saturday, October 8, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration
*Disease track sessions will be offered in Spanish at this location. For more information and registration, please visit aamds.org/eventos

West Palm Beach, FL
Sunday, November 6, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration

Seattle, WA – Welcome to the 6th Biennial Conference on Marrow Failure
Saturday, June 18, 2016
8:30a to 4:30p
For location and registration
*Joint event with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute

For questions and more information please visit the AAMDS conference page


Are You a Patient Taking Vidaza or Dacogen?

Seeking Research Volunteers

Predicting Response To Your Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Treatment

Azacitidine (Vidaza®) and decitabine (Dacogen®) are FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of MDS. While these drugs help many patients with MDS, sometimes patients who initially respond to these drugs eventually lose their response. Why? Why do the drugs stop working? MDS-CRC investigators are trying to answer this question. Through CRUSH!!MDS, we are recruiting patients who have not responded or lost their initial response to azacitidine or decitabine. Patients will be able to have blood drawn at the time of a routine visit to their local doctor and we will arrange for the blood to be delivered to Weill Cornell Medical College, at no cost to the patient. At Weill Cornell, the blood will be analyzed in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Scandura, M.D.

For more information about the study and the CRUSH!!MDS initiative, please visit our website.