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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.

COVID-19 vaccination for hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients

Originally Published: 05/14/2021
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has changed the world over the last year and impacted almost every part of our lives. In particular, patients with hematologic malignancies have been significantly affected by this crisis at every stage of their treatment. Delays in diagnosis and increased waiting times for transplants and therapy have become common occurrences. Patients with hematologic malignancies are also more likely to suffer from severe COVID-19, leading to a greater mortality rate. A recent meta-analysis of 3,377 patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19 showed a mortality rate of 34...

Clinical effects of administering leukemia-specific donor T cells to patients with AML/MDS after allogeneic transplant

Originally Published: 05/13/2021
Key Points Donor-derived T cells with native specificity for multiple myeloid leukemia antigens can be expanded ex vivo. Infusion of mLSTs after HCT is well tolerated and produces antileukemia effects. Abstract Relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is the leading cause of death in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Infusion of unselected donor lymphocytes (DLIs) enhances the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. However, because the infused lymphocytes are not selected for leukemia specificity, the GVL effect is often...

Participation of Black Americans in Cancer Clinical Trials: Current Challenges and Proposed Solutions

Originally Published: 05/11/2021
ABSTRACT Low participation of Black Americans in cancer clinical trials is a well-established predicament. Many factors resulted in this current dilemma with racism being the fundamental unit. Here, we discuss some current challenges and proposed solutions to help in increasing the enrollment of Black Americans in cancer clinical trials. We suggest implementing the least acceptable race-specific percentage as a new bar that registrational clinical trials need to pass before cancer drugs approval. Clinical trials will continue to draw the future of cancer therapeutics in which we believe that...

Researchers Uncover How MN1 Overexpression Causes AML

Originally Published: 05/10/2021
Meningioma-1 (MN1) is a protein whose overexpression has been linked to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and brain tumors, and 70% to 80% of AML patients with high overexpression of MN1 die within two years. Yet the mechanism by which MN1 causes these diseases has largely remained a mystery. “Looking at the sequence, the protein has no obvious structure,” said Kathrin M. Bernt, MD, a pediatric oncologist in the Cancer Center’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “MN1 doesn’t resemble other typical oncogenes – or any other proteins – so it’s difficult to...

“If it’s the time, it’s the time”: Existential communication in naturally-occurring palliative care conversations with individuals with advanced cancer, their families, and clinicians

Originally Published: 05/10/2021
Highlights We analyzed naturally-occurring inpatient palliative care conversations. Existential communication is pervasive and varied in palliative care conversations Patients, families, and clinicians talk about time, the self, and connectedness. Findings help develop a lexicon for everyday existential communication. (Article continues at link.)

Mesothelin is a novel cell surface disease marker and potential therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia

Originally Published: 05/03/2021
Key Points Mesothelin is aberrantly expressed in over one third of childhood and young adult AML and not expressed on normal hematopoietic cells. Mesothelin is successfully targeted in vitro and in xenograft models of MSLN+ AML with ADCs. Abstract In an effort to identify acute myeloid leukemia (AML)-restricted targets for therapeutic development in AML, we analyzed the transcriptomes of 2051 children and young adults with AML and compared the expression profile with normal marrow specimens. This analysis identified a large cohort of AML-restricted genes with high expression in AML, but low...

Unmet Needs of Individuals Living with Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Perspectives from the Global Patient Advocacy Community

Originally Published: 05/03/2021
In 2019, an in-depth Global Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Patient Advocacy Roundtable was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The goal of this roundtable, which was sponsored by Takeda Oncology, was to provide patient advocates with an opportunity to share their perspectives on the challenges faced by individuals living with higher-risk MDS. This publication shares the insights of patient advocacy community leaders regarding individuals with higher-risk MDS, including their advice for patients to support shared decision-making, patient education, and patient empowerment approaches. The...

Integration of Cellular Therapy Jumpstarts Research Efforts in Acute Leukemias

Originally Published: 04/27/2021
With the goal of capitalizing on the efficacy observed with cellular therapies in acute leukemias, ongoing research efforts are underway to address unanswered questions regarding the role of transplant in conjunction with cellular therapy, optimal toxicity management, antigen escape, and methods to overcome myelosuppression and immunosuppression in these diseases, said Michael Grunwald, MD. “Our ability to use cellular therapies to treat acute leukemias is expanding,” said Grunwald. “We have new non-transplant therapies coming along, some [of which] might be used as adjuncts to transplant...

Long‐term Results of Low‐intensity Chemotherapy with Clofarabine or Cladribine Combined with Low‐Dose Cytarabine Alternating with Decitabine in Older Patients with Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Originally Published: 04/26/2021
Abstract Background The treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using intensive chemotherapy is associated with treatment intolerance and poor survival. We evaluated two new lower‐intensity regimens with clofarabine (n=119) or cladribine (n=129) combined with low‐dose cytarabine (LDAC) alternating with decitabine. (Article Continues at Link)
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