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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


Several prognostic factors have been identified to predict the outcome of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but only a few studies analyzed more markers together.

Concepts: Medical terms, Leukemia, Blood disorders


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


Most patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) receiving treatment with BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) will achieve favorable responses. Moreover, TKI therapy enables patients to experience long-term survival, with survival rates similar to those of individuals without CML. This enhanced survival has resulted from the availability of multiple BCR-ABL1 TKIs with efficacy, not only in frontline treatment, but, importantly, also in second- and third-line treatment. We have reviewed the changes in long-term outcomes in the era of TKI therapy and how these changes have affected treatment practices. We discuss the development of imatinib, the first BCR-ABL1 TKI, followed by newer TKIs, including nilotinib, dasatinib, bosutinib, and ponatinib. We consider the key studies that led to their development as frontline or later-line therapies, their safety profiles, and their effect on improving patient outcomes. With these improved outcomes, the definition of an optimal response has become more stringent, and treatment monitoring strategies have changed. Second-line patient populations have evolved from those with resistance to, or intolerance of, imatinib to those with moderate responses to, or low-grade adverse events with, imatinib. Although all TKIs are associated with high survival rates, newer TKIs have been associated with lower disease progression rates and, importantly, deeper treatment responses and, potentially, a greater chance of future treatment-free remission. Finally, we consider the unmet needs of patients with CML, including the challenges remaining for those without optimal responses during TKI therapy and new therapies and strategies to identify such patients at diagnosis.


Treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), a neoplasm of plasma cells, formerly dependent on alkylating drugs, corticosteroids, and autologous stem cell transplantation, has changed dramatically in the past 20 years because 3 new classes of small molecule drugs (arbitrarily defined as having a molecular weight of < 900 kDa)-immunomodulators, proteasome inhibitors, and histone deacetylase blockers-have been introduced for the disease. Therapeutic options for MM expanded further in 2015 when 2 new monoclonal antibodies (daratumumab and elotuzumab) were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for MM. Although MM remains incurable, the cumulative effect of these advances has resulted in a near-doubling of the 5-year survival rate since the late 1980s. Despite these advances, therapy for MM continues to pose substantial challenges because resistance to therapy frequently develops, and relapse and recurrence are all too common. The present review focused on the pipeline for new small molecules in various stages of development and their associated cellular targets. In addition to newer versions of alkylators, immunomodulators, proteasome inhibitors, and histone deacetylase inhibitors, the present review considered the prospects for adding new classes of small molecules to the MM armamentarium, which offer the potential for oral efficacy, relative simplicity of preparation, and prospects for improvement in the cost-to-benefit ratio. Included are agents that affect myeloma epigenetics and the ubiquitination-proteasome system and the unfolded protein response, apoptotic mechanisms, chromosomal abnormalities, nuclear protein transport, and various kinases involved in cellular signaling pathways.