Acute Myeloid Leukemia Highlights From the 2019 ASH Annual Meeting

Harry P. Erba, MD, PhD


January 02, 2020

At the American Society of Hematology 2019 Annual Meeting in Orlando, several presentations highlighted observations that have practice-changing implications for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Harry P. Erba, MD, provides insights into some of these studies.

The first is the QUAZAR AML-001 phase 3 international study. In a treatment landscape where patients with AML in first remission do not have effective maintenance therapy, QUAZAR AML-001 showed for the first time that oral azacitidine significantly improved overall survival as well as relapse-free survival in a large study (472 patients).

Although incidence of gastrointestinal toxicities was higher in patients receiving oral azacitidine, the quality of life rating was the same as in patients receiving placebo.

In another study, Dr Erba highlights the advancement of another isocitrate dehydrogenase inhibitor (IDH), enasidenib, which targets mutations in IDH2.

Patients who received enasidenib and azacitidine had an overall response rate of 48% compared with 14% for those who received azacitidine alone. The rate of complete responses was almost 10 times higher with the enasidenib combination.

Finally, Dr Erba highlights resistance mechanisms that emerge with the use of current targeted therapy and why it is important to monitor patients for these in clinical practice.


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