The Lynx Group

Hematologic Cancers


The combined use of effective multidrug chemotherapy regimens and radiation over the past few decades has led to significant improvements in the prognosis of Hodgkin lymphoma, making achievement of a cure a clinical reality for the majority of patients.1 With current therapies, long-term tumor control may be achieved in 70%-80% of patients.1 However, a subset of patients do not respond to frontline therapy or relapses following initial response.
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A meta-analysis of overall survival (OS) in 3 clinical trials of lenalidomide (Revlimid) maintenance therapy after high-dose melphalan (Alkeran) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for multiple myeloma showed long-term disease control and prolonged OS. A slightly increased risk for a secondary primary malignancy is outweighed by the OS benefit, said lead investigator Philip McCarthy, MD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, in an oral presentation at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.
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Venetoclax (Venclexta) monotherapy has significant clinical activity in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) whose disease has relapsed or is resistant to chemotherapy and in those deemed unable to tolerate chemotherapy, according to a new study. The overall response rate (ORR) for venetoclax in the phase 2 single-arm study was 19%, with complete remissions in some patients. This was the first study to examine venetoclax monotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory AML or untreated AML who are unfit for intensive therapy.
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Although often criticized as being overly expensive, innovations in drug development for hematologic malignancies meet standard benchmarks for cost-effectiveness, delivering value for their cost, suggest a team of health economics researchers led by Peter J. Neumann, ScD, Director, the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Tufts Medical Center, Boston (Saret CJ, et al. Blood. 2015 Feb 5. Epub ahead of print).
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