News in brief: Hybrid meeting for Blood 2021; Copanlisib + RIT helps in relapse NHL; Cancer-associated thrombosis reduces survival in ALL

Thursday, 15 Apr 2021

Hybrid meeting announced for Blood 2021

The combined annual meeting of Australian haematology societies – BLOOD 2021 – will be delivered as hybrid virtual meeting – with an option for delegates to attend face-to-face at an Adelaide hub.

The host organisations, HSANZ, ANZSBT, and THANZ, said the decision was made in the face of ongoing uncertainty with border closures and to ensure equity of access amongst all members across Australia and New Zealand.

“In addition, all sessions will be recorded and available on demand to registered attendees for 6 months …” they said.

“While the content will be delivered virtually, we know there is a strong desire to meet face to face where possible and we will therefore be offering an that will include networking, a gala dinner and an exhibition space to all those who are able and wish to travel to Adelaide.”

Blood 2021 will be held 20-24 September online and at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Favourable combo of PI3K inhibitor plus rituximab

The combination of copanlisib plus rituximab has been shown to improve PFS in patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma compared with rituximab alone.

An international phase 3 RCT of the PI3K inhibitor found median PFS was 21.5 months with the combination treatment compared to 13.8 months with rituximab alone (HR 0.52).

Higher objective response rates (81% v 48%), complete response rates (34% v 15%), and partial responses (45% v 29%) were also seen with copanlisib plus rituximab versus rituximab alone.

The study said the copanlisib plus rituximab combination showed an acceptable safety profile consistent with the known safety profile of each drug as monotherapy.

The most common grade 3–4 adverse events and seen more often with the combination treatment were hyperglycaemia (56% v 8%) and hypertension (40% v 9%). The incidence of colitis, an adverse event associated with oral PI3K inhibitors, was a low 1%.

Lancet Oncology

Thrombosis risk in children with ALL

Cancer‐associated thromboembolism has a significant detrimental impact on survival in children with ALL.

A Canadian study of more than 2,000 children (<15 years of age) found about 6% of children being treated for newly diagnosed ALL developed thrombosis requiring urgent intervention.

The study found those with thrombosis had a worse overall survival (HR 2.61 for death, p<0.001) and event-free survival (HR of death, relapse, second malignancy 2.03, p=0.001), compared with other children.

The risk was evident in children with high/very high‐risk ALL (HR of death 2.90; HR of an event 2.02) but not in children with standard or low risk ALL.

The researchers said the adverse impact of thrombosis on survival might be partially attributable to an increased risk of relapse, and was not restricted to specific chemotherapy protocols.

American Journal of Haematology

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