UChicago Medicine experts showcase blood cancer research at 65th ASH Annual Meeting

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Faculty and trainees from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) joined the world’s largest hematology community to discuss the latest updates in blood cancers at the 65th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition held December 9-12, 2023 in San Diego and online.

At the meeting, more than 30 UChicago Medicine blood cancer experts — many of whom are leading hematologists — shared their work through oral abstracts, educational sessions, poster talks and other presentations.

Hematologists-in-training also had the opportunity to attend and present. Andrew Palmer, BS, a third-year medical student, and Tadeusz Kubicki, MD, a postdoctoral scholar, were recognized for their highly scored abstracts with ASH Abstract Achievement Awards.

On December 8, prior to the ASH Meeting, activities and services such as satellite symposia and scientific workshops provided trainees with high-quality education, career development and networking opportunities. UCCCC faculty, who mentor next-generation researchers and physicians, addressed multiple blood cancer issues.

During ASH-a-Palooza, an annual event just for trainees, Emily K. Curran, MD, presented a Blood Buddies mentoring session on pediatric and adult bone marrow transfusion.

Satellite symposia & scientific workshops

Peter A. Riedell, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, joined a panel of experts in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) to discuss the latest clinical evidence and practical considerations for evidence-based integration of antibody-based therapies into treatment plans for DLBCL.

Sonali Smith, MD, Elwood V. Jensen Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology, joined renowned faculty to provide expert opinions and treatment advice for relapsed/refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL). This symposium navigated the current landscape of R/R FL treatment, uncovered groundbreaking clinical research and projected future strategies into 2024.

Jason X. Cheng, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology, delivered a presentation entitled “RNA: m5C Methyltransferases and RNA Epigenetics-Mediated Drug Resistance in Leukemia” in the “Therapy Resistance Mechanisms” session.

Jill de Jong, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Cancer Risk and Bone Marrow Failure Clinic, Pediatric Hematology, and the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, presented a scientific workshop on “Germline Predisposition to Hematopoietic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Failure.”

December 9 - 12:

UCCCC faculty and trainees from basic and translational research groups shared developments in therapeutic areas including multiple myeloma (MM), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Tadeusz Kubicki, MD, a postdoctoral scholar under the mentorship of Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, gave an oral presentation on the potential use of a mass spectrometry method for assessing measurable residual disease (MRD) in peripheral blood in the MM post-transplant setting as a complementary method to bone marrow-based MRD assessments.

Tanner Martinez, an MD/PhD candidate in the lab of Megan McNerney, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology, presented exciting data on how CUX1 expression in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) predicts stem cell activity. He showed that the loss of CUX1 in HSCs can contribute to excessive self-renewal in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with -7/del(7q).

Peter A. Riedell, MD, presented retrospective data on the safety and efficacy of Lisocabtagene Maraleucel, a cell-based gene therapy for relapsed/refractory DLBC.

Wendy Stock, MD, Anjuli Seth Nayak Professor of Medicine, participated in a special-interest session entitled “ASH Guidelines on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in Adolescents and Young Adults,” where she discussed challenges associated with initial treatment of young adult patients and possible best practices.

Alan Cooper, BS, from the lab of Justin Kline, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Lymphoma Program, presented important data demonstrating a CD5 signature as an effective biomarker for BTK inhibitor therapy in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. This study was simultaneously published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gregory Roloff, MD, senior and chief fellow of the UChicago Medicine leukemia program, presented real-world outcomes from the largest cohort of relapsed/refractory B-ALL patients treated with commercial Brexucabtagene Autoleucel (brexu-cel).

Post-ASH 2023 hosted by the University of Chicago
UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty and trainees formed a team for the 10th ASH Foundation Run/Walk. The in-person event on December 10 supported the next generation of hematologists.
During poster sessions, UCCCC researchers presented results covering everything from ongoing clinical trials to treatment outcomes with novel therapies.

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, presented three posters covering early diagnosis of MM using next-generation sequencing, CAR-T and bispecific antibody therapies results, and final analysis of a phase 2 clinical trial testing quadruplet therapy in newly diagnosed MM patients without autologous stem cell transplantation.

Hannah Johnston, MD, a third-year resident, presented a poster on the socioeconomic determinants and the biological factors affecting outcomes in adult ALL patients. These results were published recently in Blood Advances.

Samuel Yates, MD, MSc, presented data from an ongoing clinical trial investigating the prognostic significance of malnutrition and sarcopenia in older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Tara O. Henderson, MD, MPH, Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Survivorship Center, discussed the results from ongoing clinical trial “AHOD2131: A Randomized Phase 3 Response-Adapted Trial Comparing Standard Therapy with Immuno-Oncology Therapy for Children and Adults with Newly Diagnosed Stage I and II Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma.”

Anand A. Patel, MD, presented results from the patients with accelerated/blast-phase MPNs that received allogeneic stem cell transplant in this era of myeloid therapies.

Alexandra E. Rojek, MD, a hematology/oncology fellow, presented two posters on treatment outcomes in core-binding factor AML patients.

Tadeusz Kubicki, MD, presented two posters, one looking at the health-related quality of life in Polish patients with MM during post-transplant maintenance KRd or Lenalidomide and another showing the longitudinal assessment of MRD in the ATLAS trial of post-transplant treatment with KRd vs. Lenalidomide.

Andrew Palmer, BS, presented data on the impact of air pollutants on a Chicagoland cohort of patients with AML.

Mirielle Nauman, PhD, a first-year postdoctoral scholar from the lab of Shannon Elf, PhD, presented findings that B-cell lymphoma-extra large represents a novel therapeutic target in type 2 mutant CALR-driven myeloproliferative neoplasms.

View a full list of UCCCC presentations at the 65th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The next ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held December 7-10, 2024 in San Diego.


Post-ASH 2023 hosted by the University of Chicago
Healthcare professionals who treat patients with hematologic cancers are invited to attend the 9th Annual Updates from ASH 2023: Practice-Changing Abstracts, which will be held March 1, 2024, for continuing medical education credits. For more information and to register, visit https://cme.uchicago.edu/ASH2024.