After 40 Years, Acute Myeloid Leukemia Gets 4 New Treatments

March 2, 2018
Mike Hennessy, Sr.

CURE, Hematology Special Issue 2018, Volume 1, Issue 1

FOR THE FIRST TIME in more than 40 years, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have reason to hope. After years of little to no improvement, four new agents were approved in the same year bringing huge advancements to the field.

FOR THE FIRST TIME in more than 40 years, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have reason to hope. After years of little to no improvement, four new agents were approved in the same year bringing huge advancements to the field.

Leading experts agree that there is a lot to be excited about in the developments of these new agents, but there are also many questions to still ask such as how they work with one another and what they mean for survival rates.

In this special issue of CURE, we feature an article on the new therapies available — Rydapt (midostaurin), Vyxeos (CPX-351), Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) and Idhifa (enasidenib) — and what other agents are in the pipeline as researchers try to determine the best ways to personalize care for patients with AML.

Another feature examines how frontline therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma may be changing in favor of a less toxic approach. Bleomycin, a chemotherapy drug often used in combination to treat Hodgkin lymphoma, has many side effects including lung toxicity. Therefore, researchers replaced it with a newer agent, Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), in a clinical trial to test differences. This feature highlights the results of that trial and introduces two patients whose lives have been extended through the use of Adcetris.

If given the choice, would you skip a treatment that would improve your progression-free survival if it meant that you would save money, or avoid more serious side effects? This is a decision faced by some patients. A study found surprising results: The majority of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia are willing to accept shorter progression-free survival. The study’s senior researcher shares her insight on why she believes these patients are willing to make tradeoffs when it comes to their health.

We also take a closer look at social media, which can be a powerful tool for patients, survivors and caregivers, especially to gain informational resources, seek support groups or keep family and friends informed on diagnosis and treatment. However, there are risks involved, too. An oncologist and cancer survivor weighs the perks and perils of these online platforms specifically for individuals in the blood cancer community.

Also in this issue, newly approved chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies, stress reduction after stem cell transplant and how to improve symptom burden and inflammation in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms through nutrition.

As always, thank you for reading.

MIKE HENNESSY, SR. Chairman and CEO

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