Hopeful reports about new cancer therapies start tomorrow

So much cancer related news I don’t know where to start.  ASH started on Friday and continues this week.  ASH stands for “American Society of Hematology,” and the annual meeting rotates among a half dozen southern convention venues large enough close to 30,000 researchers, nurses, doctors and drug company staffers.  This makes ASH the largest gathering of hematologists in the world.

Two Chord Blood Transplants Are Better Than One In Leukemia Patients

Chord blood transplants can be effective and are growing in popularity for use against a variety of blood cancers.  I saw this study abstract in Saturday’s media packet.  Glad journalist Raxanne Nelson followed-up on the story:
Double Cord Blood Transplant Better Than Single in Leukemia
Roxanne Nelson
December 5, 2010 (Orlando, Florida) — A double cord blood transplant (CBT) is not only feasible but also appears to be associated with better overall outcomes than a single CBT, according to new data presented here at the American Society of Hematology 52nd Annual Meeting. This was found to be particularly true when used early in the treatment of acute leukemias.

ASH News About Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Drug Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35)

I recently ran an article about a promising new lymphoma drug, brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35).  Here are study results, just released to us from the ASH press room about bv:
Results of a Pivotal Phase 2 Study of Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35) in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma [Abstract 283]

While 70-80 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with adult Hodgkin lymphoma are typically cured with combination chemotherapy of three or four agents together, there still is a significant number of patients whose disease progresses after initial induction chemotherapy. For these patients, treatment options include additional courses of the same or different chemotherapy regimens followed by an autologous stem cell transplant. However, for patients whose disease returns after an autologous stem cell transplant, there currently are no approved treatment options.

No Lymphoma/Leukemia Blockbuster ASH News So Far

I was traveling this evening, but based on the data I reviewed in person and on-line the last three days at ASH, the blockbuster news I was told to expect has yet to materialize. I see a few promising Stage I studies and even fewer Stage II studies. Like myeloma, drug combinations are being tried every which way. Another trend is using successful myeloma drugs against certain types of lymphoma and leukemia. You can Google ASH and leukemia and/or lymphoma, but be prepared to be underwhelmed! I will follow-up tomorrow.

Leukemia Update From ASH

I just stopped-in to a clinical session about leukemia here at ASH. My focus, and actually, the largest focus here in New Orleans, is multiple myeloma. But watch for exciting news over the next few days about new drugs and drug combinations for leukemia and lymphoma.