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Journal: Clinical lymphoma, myeloma & leukemia


BACKGROUND: Rituximab has altered the treatment approach to B-cell malignancies and other diseases. Reports consider that rituximab had limited impact on serum immunoglobulins. However, anecdotes suggest that rituximab can cause symptomatic hypogammaglobulinemia. This retrospective study examined the relationship among rituximab, hypogammaglobulinemia, and treatment of symptomatic hypogammaglobulinemia with intravenous immune globulin (IVIG). METHODS: Patients with serial quantitative serum immunoglobulin (SIgG) concentrations before and subsequent to rituximab administration at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center were identified. Information regarding rituximab administration, SIgG concentrations, frequency of infection, and administration of IVIG were recorded. RESULTS: Between December 1998 and April 2009, 211 patients with B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab and with serial SIgG concentrations were identified. One hundred seventy-nine (85%) patients had normal SIgG before rituximab, 32 (15%) had low SIgG. After rituximab use, hypogammaglobulinemia was identified in 38.54% of patients with initially normal SIgG. The risk was greater in patients who received maintenance rituximab. Symptomatic hypogammaglobulinemia that prompted IVIG administration developed in 6.6% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: In this data set, rituximab administration was associated with a high frequency of hypogammaglobulinemia, particularly symptomatic hypogammaglobulinemia, among patients who received multiple courses of rituximab. Baseline and periodic monitoring of SIgGs is appropriate in patients who receive rituximab.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Humoral immunity, Immunity, Lymphoma, Intravenous immunoglobulin, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, Gamma globulin


Most patients with indolent B-cell lymphomas fail to achieve complete remission with current treatment approaches and invariably relapse. During the past decade, innovative immunochemotherapy strategies have substantially improved disease control rates but not survival, thus providing the rationale for development of novel agents targeting dysregulated pathways that are operable in these hematological malignancies. Ibrutinib, a novel first-in-human Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, has progressed into phase III trials after early-phase clinical studies demonstrated effective target inhibition, increased tumor response rates, and significant improvement in survival, particularly in patients with indolent B-cell lymphomas. Recently, the compound was designated a “breakthrough therapy” by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma and Waldenström macroglobulinemia. This review summarizes recent achievements of ibrutinib, with a focus on its emerging role in the treatment of patients with indolent B-cell lymphoid malignancies.

Concepts: AIDS, Clinical trial, Cancer, United States, Types of cancer, Lymphoma, Hematological malignancy, Mantle cell lymphoma


High risk and low risk multiple myeloma patients follow a very different clinical course as reflected in their PFS and OS. To be clinically useful, methodologies used to identify high and low risk disease must be validated in representative independent clinical data and available so that patients can be managed appropriately. A recent analysis has indicated that SKY92 combined with the International Staging System (ISS) identifies patients with different risk disease with high sensitivity.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Epidemiology, Medical terms, Actuarial science, Identification


Panobinostat was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and European Commission in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with multiple myeloma who have received ≥ 2 regimens, including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug. The PANEX (panobinostat expansion) treatment protocol provided access to panobinostat and gathered additional safety data before commercial availability.


Many patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase experience chronic treatment-related adverse events (AEs) during imatinib therapy. These AEs can impair quality of life and lead to reduced treatment adherence, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes.

Concepts: Medicine, Life, Leukemia, Blood disorders, Chronic myelogenous leukemia


Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs) can be associated with vascular events (VEs). The expected VE rates in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are unknown. The present study examined the event rates and mortality among elderly patients with and without CML.

Concepts: Leukemia, Blood disorders, Chronic myelogenous leukemia


Clinical outcomes of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treated in clinical trials, including response to therapy, may not be representative of those treated in a community setting. Thus, we sought to determine the real-world effectiveness of first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitors in CML by evaluating response rates, all-cause discontinuation, and adherence. Response monitoring patterns were also analyzed.

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Signal transduction, Effectiveness,, Protein kinase, Leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia


Treatment-free remission (TFR) after discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy is now an emerging treatment goal for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, who have achieved a deep and stable response to treatment. Although guidance is now available, patients' questions regarding this progressive concept have yet to be addressed. The overall aim of this European Steering Group is a patient-centered approach that educates patients on their treatment options, including TFR, facilitates better patient-physician relationships, and meets patients' emotional and psychological needs. The present report outlines 5 key topic areas on discontinuing tyrosine kinase therapy and the implications of TFR for patient-physician consideration: what TFR is; when TFR is appropriate; which patients might and might not be eligible for TFR; and patients' considerations for discontinuing therapy, such as tyrosine kinase withdrawal syndrome, potential psychological implications, molecular recurrence, and repeat treatment. This Steering Group advocates that patients with chronic myeloid leukemia should have access to high-quality, frequent molecular monitoring and be treated in a specialist center with appropriate medical and psychological support. As patient concerns with attempting TFR become forefront in patient-physician discussions, a greater number of eligible patients might be willing to discontinue therapy.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignancy of plasma cells that is typically chronic, and relapse is common. Current therapeutic strategies include combination and sequential treatments with corticosteroids, alkylating agents, proteasomal inhibitors, immunomodulators, and monoclonal antibodies. These drugs prolong survival but ultimately become ineffective. Exportin 1 (XPO1), a nuclear export protein, is overexpressed in MM cells, and knockdown studies have suggested that XPO1 is essential for MM cell survival. Selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compounds are novel, orally bioavailable class of agents that specifically inhibit XPO1. Selinexor (KPT-330) is the first-in-human SINE compound. Early phase clinical trials have established the safety profile of this agent and have shown promising efficacy in combination with low-dose dexamethasone and other anti-MM agents. The combination of selinexor and dexamethasone has demonstrated activity in “penta-refractory” MM, (ie, MM refractory to the 5 most active anti-MM agents currently used in treatment). We have reviewed the available data on the molecular implications of XPO1 inhibition in MM. We also reviewed the pertinent early phase clinical data with SINE compounds and discuss management strategies for common toxicities encountered with use of selinexor.


BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors have dramatically improved outcomes for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, and current studies are investigating whether some patients may be able to suspend therapy yet maintain response in a state known as “treatment-free remission” (TFR). Results from ongoing studies suggest that ≈ 40% to 60% of patients in sustained (generally ≥ 2 years) deep molecular response (defined as a 4-log or deeper reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts, depending on the study) who attempt TFR may successfully remain off treatment. Results from TFR clinical trials, patient considerations for attempting TFR, and potential predictive factors associated with successful TFR are reviewed herein.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Signal transduction, Patient, Protein kinase, Leukemia, Blood disorders, Cultural studies, Protein kinase inhibitor