Two articles in this week’s issue focus on the use of ipilimumab and decitabine for patients with myelodysplasia (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) before and after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for high-risk disease. In the first article, Garcia et al report on the results of a phase 1 trial of the combination in 54 patients, demonstrating overall response rate of 52% in patients who are HSCT-naïve and 20% in patients post-HSCT; responses are usually short-lived. In the second article, Penter and colleagues characterize gene expression responses to therapy and conclude that decitabine acts directly to clear leukemic cells while ipilimumab acts on infiltrating lymphocytes in marrow and extramedullary sites. Responses are determined by leukemic cell burden and by the frequency and phenotype of infiltrating lymphocytes. Increasing bone marrow regulatory T cells is identified as a potential contributor to checkpoint inhibitor escape.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)