News in brief: Durable responses for brentuximab in CTCL; Blood 21 just a week away; Healthcare worker vaccination reduces COVID-19 transmission;

Durable responses for brentuximab in CTCL

Final data from the phase 3 ALCANZA trial  have confirmed that treatment with brentuximab vedotin gives improved, durable responses and longer PFS compared to methotrexate or bexarotene in CD30+ CTCL.

Brentuximab vedotin extended time to next treatment vs physician’s choice, suggesting that durable responses are clinically important.

After a median follow-up 46 months, the results from 64 adults with previously treated CD30-expressing MF/C-ALCL showed that  brentuximab vedotin showed improved responses compared to physician’s choice: (ORR4, 54.7% vs 12.5% (P < .001); complete response, 17.2% vs 1.6% (P = .002).

The median PFS with brentuximab vedotin was 16.7 months vs 3.5 months with physicians choice.

Brentuximab vedotin also extended time to next treatment (14.2 vs 5.6 months for physician’s choice,  hazard ratio, 0.27)., suggesting that durable responses were clinically important, said the study investigators, including Prof Miles Prince of Melbourne

The findings are published in Blood Advances

Blood 21 just a week away

Australia’s professional societies for haematology will be combining for the Blood 21 virtual meeting scheduled to take place from Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd September.

The meeting is the combined Annual Scientific Meeting of the: Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ), the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) and the Thrombosis and Haemostasis society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ).

The program includes a wide range of local presenters and also international speakers such as Professor John Eikelboom from McMaster University, Canada, who will deliver the Barry Firkin Oration on the topic: The future of oral anticoagulant therapy

The meeting will include a session focusing on haematology during the pandemic, in which Professor Marie Scully, Consultant Haematologist, University College London Hospital, UK, will talk about the diagnosis and management of VITT.

Healthcare worker vaccination reduces COVID-19 transmission to household members

In findings described reassuring for healthcare workers and their families, a UK study has provided evidence suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare staff reduces transmission within their household.

Researchers in the UK evaluated data from almost 200,000 household members of 144,525 health care workers in Scotland who worked from March to November 2020.

At the time of the study, 78% of healthcare workers had received at least one dose of either Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 25% had received a second dose.

The analysis found that risk of COVID-19 among household members of vaccinated health care workers was 30% lower (Hazard Ratio 0.70) after the first dose and more than 50% lower (HR 0.46) after the second dose of vaccine.

The effect of vaccination may have been larger because the analysis did not cover risk of transmission from sources outside the household, the researchers wrote in NEJM.

“Given that vaccination reduces asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, it is plausible that vaccination reduces transmission,” said the researchers led by Dr Anoop Shah of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.



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