Our Lymphoma Program researchers and physicians made a massive impact at this year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition, an educational gathering of over 25,000 clinicians and scientists from around the world who are working to conquer blood disease.
Our team was involved in nearly 50 study abstracts presented at the meeting, helping to advance the overall understanding of lymphoma, as well as improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for those affected by the disease. Here are some highlights of our research:
Our physicians, as well as a Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian second-year resident, presented exciting data on promising new treatment strategies for patients across several disease subsets, including mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and follicular lymphoma (FL). Program chief Dr. Peter Martin was also invited to lead two educational programs regarding ways to optimize therapy for mantle cell lymphoma. His paper, on which the educational programs were based, was selected for inclusion in the American Society of Hematology Education Book.
A Phase I, Open-Label, Multicenter Trial of Oral Azacitidine (CC-486) Plus R-CHOP in Patients with High-Risk, Previously Untreated Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, Grade 3B Follicular Lymphoma, or Transformed Lymphoma
Phase 1 Clinical Safety, Pharmacokinetics (PK), and Activity of Apilimod Dimesylate (LAM-002A), a First-in-Class Inhibitor of Phosphatidylinositol-3-Phosphate 5-Kinase (PIKfyve), in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Malignancies
Randomized Phase 2 Trial of Ofatumumab and Bendamustine Versus Ofatumumab, Bendamustine, and Bortezomib Induction and Maintenance Therapy in Patients (pts) with Previously Untreated High Risk Follicular Lymphoma (FL): Results from CALGB 50904 (Alliance)
Acalabrutinib is a second-generation inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) with apparent efficacy equivalent to that of first-generation inhibitor ibrutinib but fewer toxicities due to it being more selective for BTK. In this first study of acalabrutinib in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acalabrutinib demonstrated excellent efficacy, durability and tolerability, with an overall response rate of 93 percent and an estimated 18-month progression-free survival rate of 88 percent.
– Richard Furman, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine pathologists, as well as researchers from the laboratories of Drs. Leandro Cerchietti, Ari Melnick and Dan Landau also made significant pre-clinical contributions that boost our knowledge of lymphoma on a molecular and genetic level.
We generated innovative models for directly transplanting human lymphomas into mice and demonstrated that these models closely resemble the way that the disease behaves in humans. We anticipate that this will represent a unique tool for the development of therapeutic options tailored to individual patients’ specific genetic profile and medical history, also known as precision medicine.
– Danilo Fiore, PhD
We describe a novel function of HSP90, a protein considered to influence cancer cells’ ability to proliferate and survive by working as a stabilizer of a large array of proteins required for oncogenesis. Our data suggest that in lymphoma, HSP90 contributes to establishing higher efficiency metabolic networks that support the metabolic stress imposed by MYC, a key gene in lymphomagenesis with the potential to contribute to lymphoma cells’ metabolism and growth. This knowledge provides actionable targets for potential combination therapies with HSP90 inhibitors.
– Maria Nieves Calvo Vidal, PhD
Epigenetics are mechanisms that control the on and off gene “switches” that can drive tumor cell growth. Aberrant DNA methylation, the best-studied epigenetic modification in lymphoid malignancies, dysregulates genes and pathways involved in the origin and development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) pathogenesis. Like genetic alterations, DNA methylation modifications are heritable and therefore may be subjected to natural selection in cancer. We developed a single-cell DNA methylation methodology (MscRRBS) and applied it to hundreds of normal B cells and CLL cells. It revealed that CLL shows elevated but uniform abnormal DNA methylation changes across the tumor cell population, reflecting common origin from a single, transformed cell.
– Ronan Chalinge, PhD
Although follicular lymphoma is the most common indolent, or slow-growing, lymphoma worldwide, we lack a full understanding of the biology of the disease. In our work, we use a clinically distinct subtype, primary intestinal follicular lymphoma, to highlight features that are associated with an indolent clinical course and to further our understanding of the follicular lymphoma immune microenvironment.
– Johannes Hellmuth, MD
We are so proud of our Lymphoma Program’s leadership at ASH and of the team’s relentless work to make life better for lymphoma patients and their families.