ASH annual meeting features top advances in blood cancer research—and snow

ASH 2017

Cancer physicians and scientists are a dedicated group—even several inches of snow in Atlanta (and much more in the city’s suburbs) could not keep them from attending the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition on December 9-12, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The ASH Annual Meeting is the premier conference focused on hematological malignancies – or blood cancers – which brings together more than 25,000 attendees from around the world to share the latest scientific discoveries and advances in clinical care. The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center was privileged to take part in the meeting and have our faculty, staff and trainees showcase their groundbreaking research or serve as leaders in the field by chairing or moderating a session. Here are a few highlights:

Lucy Godley, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, chaired and presented in the Friday Scientific Workshop on inherited hematopoietic malignancies, including the pathogenesis of tumor development in individuals and families with germline mutations and predisposition to bone marrow-derived malignancies. Godley also chaired a joint session for the Committee on Myeloid Biology and Scientific Committee on Myeloid Neoplasia.

Jane Churpek, MD, assistant professor of medicine, presented on the development of new tools in the clinical diagnosis of inherited bone marrow failure syndrome.

Richard Larson, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Hematologic Malignancies Program, presented results from the international CALGB 10603/RATIFY [Alliance] trial for newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia patients with FLT3 mutations showing that the FLT3 inhibitor midostaurin was well tolerated but its impact on maintenance strategies could not be assessed.

Megan McNerney, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, discussed her work showing that the 7q tumor suppressor, CUX1, inhibits myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and that Cux1 deficiency causes aberrant hematopoietic stem cell function and spontaneous myeloproliferative disease in mice.

Wendy Stock, MD, Anjuli Seth Nayak Professor in Leukemia, chaired a session on new approaches to the management of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and presented on how to incorporate novel therapies into ALL management. Stock also spoke on ALL in adolescents and young adults.

Olatoyosi Odenike, MBBS, associate professor of medicine, chaired a session on the current treatment landscape for MDS and presented on incorporating novel approaches in the management of MDS beyond hypomethylating agents.

Tara Henderson, MD, MPH, associate professor and director of the Childhood Cancer Survivors Center, moderated a session on the impact of disease burden in myeloma and other malignancies.

Andrew Artz, MD, associate professor of medicine, moderated a session in the Friday Scientific Workshop on hematology and aging, with a focus on aging, inflammation, and immune function.

Additionally, Hongtao Liu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Myeloma Program, Jason Cheng, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, Brian Chiu, PhD, associate professor of public health sciences, and Y. Lynn Wang, MD, PhD, professor of pathology, presented posters describing their latest research findings.

Finally, there was palpable buzz at the ASH Annual Meeting about chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies in lymphoma and myeloma. Promising data from clinical trials using this approach, which involves reengineering a patient’s T cells to target and kill cancer cells, support the role for CAR T therapies to help individuals mount a clinical – and often durable – response. We are proud to be the first site in Chicago and Illinois to offer this therapy for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and pediatric/young adult patients with the most common form of leukemia. Learn more here.

Here is a complete list of 2017 ASH Annual Meeting presentations in which Comprehensive Cancer Center physicians and scientists are the speaker, chair, moderator, or co-author. Also check out our #ASH17 posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The 60th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition will be held December 1-4, 2018 in (hopefully warmer) San Diego, California.