ASCO 2021 – Lymphoma Updates

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading organization for physicians and oncology professionals caring for people with cancer. The 2021 Annual Meeting was hosted virtually, connecting oncology professionals from around the world to discuss the newest, state-of-the-art research and treatment updates.

The Weill Cornell Lymphoma Program team is always proud of our contributions to new lymphoma research presentations at the ASCO Annual Meeting. We’ve outlined some of the highlights from this year’s conference, including research updates and new discoveries from our team. Additionally, our Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hematology & Oncology Fellow Dr. Sam Yamshon received a prestigious ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation 2021 Young Investigator Award to support critical lymphoma research and the transition from fellowship to faculty. 

Samuel Yamshon, MD – 2021 ASCO Young Investigator Award Recipient

Weill Cornell Lymphoma Program Chief Dr. Peter Martin presented new mantle cell lymphoma research and shared important insights about care in the community or real-world setting as part of an oral abstract session. 

Dr. John Leonard reviews an National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported clinical trial evaluating the role of stem cell transplant in primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma treatment. 

Dr. Richard Furman explains exciting results from a phase 3 clinical trial comparing two different treatment options for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for the first time.

Additionally, Dr. Peter Martin breaks down mantle cell lymphoma research evaluating the role of botezomib when added to bendamustine and rituximab as induction therapy.

PET scan imaging during treatment for bulky Hodgkin lymphoma can provide critical information to shape the course of care. Dr. John Leonard breaks down this NCI-supported ALLIANCE research presented this year’s ASCO meeting. 

Dr. John Leonard On the Importance of Clinical Trials

Recently, Dr. John Leonard sat down with Reuters to discuss what all cancer patients, not just lymphoma patients should know about clinical trials at Weill Cornell Medicine.

He answered four questions:

What are the benefits of clinical trials?
What risks do clinical trials pose?
Who pays for clinical trials?
Why are clinical trials so important?

Watch Dr. Leonard’s full explanation at this link: “How can you help cure cancer”


The FDA Fast Track Designation: A Primer

Picture1By Peter Martin, M.D.

The Fast Track Designation was introduced by the FDA in 1997 under the FDA Modernization Act. It was designed to speed up the development and review of drugs that treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. Like all expedited designations, the Fast Track was designed to get new treatments into the hands of patients in need.

The Fast Track designation must be requested by the treatment’s sponsor. To determine whether a treatment warrants a Fast Track designation the FDA decides whether a drug shows promise in treating a serious condition or fills an unmet medical need. Determining whether a drug treats a condition that is “serious” is largely a subjective matter, but cancers including lymphoma are universally agreed upon to match the criteria of serious conditions. The factors the FDA will consider include the drug’s impact on survival, day-to-day functioning, and if left untreated, whether a less severe condition will turn into a more serious condition. An unmet medical need provides a treatment option to patients where no such option previously existed.

If other treatment options are already available then the treatment applying for the Fast Track designation must show superior effectiveness, avoid any major side effects found in currently available therapies, improve upon the diagnosis to show an improved outcome, or address an emerging or anticipated public health need.

Treatments that meet these criteria are eligible for more support from the FDA for their application process. If the relevant criteria is met they are also eligible for the accelerated approval and priority review designations.

Previous Entries in the Primer Series

The FDA Approval Process
The FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation
The FDA Accelerated Approval Designation
The FDA Priority Review Designation

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