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We will discuss the addition of venetoclax to hypomethylating agents in the treatment of advanced myeloid neoplasms, especially higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes.We will then report a study testing the efficacy and safety of imetelstat, a new telomerase-inhibitor, in the treatment of patients with lower-risk MDS and anemia following ESA failure.We will then review an interesting therapeutic approach to improve or restore erythroid response by adding lenalidomide to MDS patients treated with erythropoietin but lost the response.Finally, we will return to the "hot" topic of targeting the TP53 mutation, by summarizing an important clinical trial using a TP53 activator.
PAPER 1Authors: Vijenthira A. et al. (Princess Margaret, Toronto)Title: Outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 3377 patientsDescription:⦁ About a third of hospitalized adult patients with hematologic malignancy and COVID-19 – dye. ⦁ No need to withhold anti-cancer treatment from these patients. Paper 2Authors: P. Fenaux; U. Platzbecker; A. List and colleagues, multicenterTitle: Luspatercept in Patients with Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic SyndromesDescription: Luspatercept, an activin receptor derived agent, improves the anemia in LR-MDS patients. Thus, we have another approved anti-anemic agent in addition to ESAs for these patients. Paper 3Authors: David Henry et al. , multicenter ((Disclosure – I am a co-author)Title: Oral Roxadustat Demonstrates Efficacy in Anemia Secondary to Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome Irrespective of Ring Sideroblasts and Baseline Erythropoietin LevelsDescription: Roxadustat, an oral hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, is another investigated effective agent for the anemia in LR-MDS. Paper 4Title:  Randomized phase 2 trial of pevonedistat plus azacitidine versus azacitidine for higher-risk MDS/CMML or low-blast AMLAuthors: M.A. Sekeres, and colleagues, multicenter, multunationalDescription:  Pevonedistat, a NEDD8 inhibitor, together with azacitidine, improves the response and prognosis in HR-MDS patients.
Bernard E et al: In the first presented study, Dr. Elza Bernard and colleagues deliver an important lesson about the high-risk mutation TP53. That is: not all of them are infeed associated with poor prognosis. Sallman DA et al:A recent study led by Dr. David Sallman tested the efficacy of the combination azacitidine and eprenetapopt (formerly APR-246), a TP53-Mutant activator, in patients with higher-risk MDS. Goll JB et al:One of the more interesting presentations in the last ASH 2020, was that of Dr. Yohannes Goll and others. They showed that adding molecular analysis they can improve the diagnostic accuracy. Indeed 7 genes significantly reduced pathological misclassification. Platzbecker U et al:A group of international investigators, led by Dr. Uwe Platzbecker, from Leipzig, reported in last ASH (2020) their encouraging experience with imetelstat, a telomerase-inhibitor to improve anemia in lower-risk MDS patients after ESA failure.
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