MD Anderson to present key drug study findings for multiple blood cancers at ASH annual meeting

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will present their latest findings involving drug treatments for blood cancers at the American Society of Hematology’s (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition Dec. 8-12 in Atlanta.

“There can be no doubt that we are in an exciting new era of treatment of blood cancers as evidenced by key presentations by MD Anderson researchers at this year’s ASH meeting,” said Patrick Hwu, M.D., head of MD Anderson’s Cancer Medicine division. “These studies are part of MD Anderson’s clinical trials program, the largest in the U.S., which is vital to our mission of ending cancer.”

Following are presentations of MD Anderson studies that revealed significant advances in patient survival:

  • Phase III results for progression free survival in multiple myeloma patients comparing standard of care and combination chemotherapy
    Muzaffar Qazilbash, M.D., professor of Stem Cell Transplantation & Cellular Therapy, will present findings from a trial comparing a two-drug combination – busulfan and melphalan – for multiple myeloma patients undergoing an autologous stem cell transplant – compared to melphalan alone, the current standard of care. The combination therapy proved safe and patients’ disease did not progress for almost five and a half years, compared with almost three years for those who took melphalan alone. 
    Abstract 399, 1 p.m., Dec. 9, Georgia World Congress Center, Bldg. A, Level 4, Rooms A411-412
  • Phase II updated findings on newly approved FDA drug acalabrutinib for mantle cell lymphoma
    Michael Wang, M.D., professor of Lymphoma and Myeloma, will discuss his study of the drug acalabrutinib, which recently received accelerated FDA approval for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma. Forty percent of patients had a complete response, pointing to acalabrutinib as a promising treatment option.
    Abstract 155, 10 a.m., Dec. 10, Georgia World Congress Center, Bldg. C, Level 1, Room C101 Auditorium
  • Phase II study results of combined chemo-immunotherapy in CLL patients 
    Nitin Jain, M.B.B.S., assistant professor of Leukemia, will report on a combination chemo-immunotherapy using ibrutinib, fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and obinutuzumab as a targeted therapy in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Forty-six percent of patients achieved a complete response by three months, and 86 percent had no evidence of disease in the bone marrow within the same time frame.
    Abstract 495, 5 p.m., Dec. 10, Georgia World Congress Center, Bldg. B, Level 5, Murphy BR 3-4
  • Phase Ib findings reported on combination therapy for relapsed or refractory AML
    Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia, will present findings from a trial of the drug venetoclax for the treatment of relapsed acute myeloid leukemia. Thirty-eight percent of patients who took venetoclax in combination with either cobimetinib or idasanutlin experienced a complete response. This multi-national study was based on MD Anderson laboratory research that demonstrated how the drugs work together to achieve the desired results.
    Abstract 813, 5 p.m., Dec. 11, Georgia World Congress Center, Bldg. B, Level 5, BR 1-2

To schedule an interview with these researchers or other MD Anderson presenters, contact Ron Gilmore at or 575-915-5790 (cell).