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Here's where you'll find a regularly updated, broad range of articles written by the AAMDSIF team, allied health organizations and news organizations. By staying well-informed, patients and families are practicing a form of self-support that will help them be more effective self-advocates when engaging with health care providers.

Promising news for older AML patients

Originally Published: 07/19/2017
A combination of the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax with a hypomethylating agent may produce high overall response rates among older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), early data showed. Among 100 patients age 65 years and older with previously untreated AML, the combination of venetoclax with either decitabine or azacitidine was associated with a 69% overall responses rate, reported Keith W. Pratz, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “Venetoclax, when combined with decitabine or azacitidine, has a tolerable safety profile in treatment-naive elderly patients...

Filling Unmet Need in MDS Treatment

Originally Published: 07/10/2017
Rami S. Komrokji, M.D., clinical director of Hematologic Malignancies at Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses an unmet need in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). While some agents have made progress in the treatment of MDS, stem cell transplant is still the only curative method, and patients need more options. But now that researchers have spent the last few years better understanding the biology of the disease, there are some promising trials and treatments in the pipeline, Komrokji says.

PACCT+ Patient Group Meets and Learns Together

Originally Published: 07/10/2017
On June 17, the AAMDSIF Patient Advisory Council on Clinical Trials (PACCT+) members met in Arlington, Virginia for the second orientation seminar, meeting fellow committee members and learning from two experts about clinical trial design and the state of current MDS research. By their selection and participation, PACCT+ participants are expected to become familiar with clinical science research to ensure their ability to provide informed feedback that would benefit a study’s design and impact. PACCT+ is a two-year demonstration project to develop and test a program to train patients in...

Approved: New blood cancer detection tool

Originally Published: 07/05/2017
ClearLLab multicolor reagents (T1, T2, B1, B2, M) gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detect chronic leukemia, acute leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). This is the first approval the agency received for immunophenotyping on a flow cytometer. The approval was based on the effectiveness of the screening panel compared with alternative methods for the detection of leukemias and lymphomas in 279 samples at four independent clinical sites. Overall, findings from the ClearLLab reagents...

Senior citizens underrepresented in clinical trials

Originally Published: 06/29/2017
More than 60 percent of cancer patients are older adults — and that will rise to 70 percent by 2040.  Yet seniors continue to be underrepresented in clinical trials, making it difficult to assess how treatments are likely to help or harm them. The newest evidence of the problem comes from a Food and Drug Administration analysis, which found that only 25 percent of patients participating in cancer clinical trials were 65 and older. The analysis, which has not yet been published, was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in June. Clinical trials investigate...

Study shows good results for older transplant patients

Originally Published: 06/13/2017
Many hematologic malignancies most commonly affect older adults. For example, the median age at diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is about 65 years, while the median age at presentation of MDS is more than 70 years, and the risk of MDS and AML continues to rise with advancing age. Historically, the potentially curative option of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) was not offered to most adults over the age of 65 due to increased relapse risk, the high frequency of comorbid conditions that make transplant-associated conditioning and immunosuppression difficult to...

New data presented at ASCO on secondary MDS/AML

Originally Published: 06/05/2017
Cancer patients with secondary malignancies have limited access to data regarding the possibility of their myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), or both, being caused by the usage of certain chemotherapeutic agents that could possibly interfere with DNA. New data concludes, though, that the incidence of MDS and AML in ovarian and breast cancer patients was higher in patients exposed to DNA damaging agents. The data, presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO 2017) annual meeting in Chicago by Nicole Fulcher, et al, were gathered with the...

MDS Update - May 2017

Originally Published: 05/30/2017
MDS Update - May 2017

Aplastic Anemia Update - May 2017

Originally Published: 05/25/2017
Aplastic Anemia Update - May 2017

What you need to know about BMT reimbursement

Originally Published: 05/19/2017
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issue the FY 2018 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule on April 14th. While we are disappointed that the proposed rule did not address allogeneic HCT cell acquisition, there are other significant changes that will impact your transplant center. 
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