#ASH14 Live Blog [Updating]

ASH-LogoMayo Clinic hematologists, hematopathologists, and a wide spectrum of allied health staff are in San Francisco, California for the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Follow this blog for live updates from #ASH14 as we attend the conference, mingle with colleagues at booth #2637, and have a little fun. Have a comment or photo to share? Send it to us on Twitter @MayoClinicLabs or Facebook.

Dec. 10 at 8:01 PST

Thank You!

We had an amazing time in San Francisco meeting with old colleagues and making new friends. Our physicians and allied-health staff presented an amazing number of abstracts and presentations. We also had a wonderful time meeting great hematologists and hematology professionals in our exhibit.

We hope you agree, ASH 14 was an amazing conference. Witnessing the significant advancement of hematology this year was inspiring and we look forward to what the next year has in store.

See you in Orlando!

Dec. 8 at 11:12 a.m. PST

Sunday Abstracts

posterOn the second-to-last day of ASH, Mayo Clinic presenters continue to have a busy schedule. Today, there a just short of 100 oral and poster abstracts with Mayo Clinic authors. As always, here is a full list of today's Mayo Clinic abstracts.

Dec. 8 at 11:12 a.m. PST

Quality of Life at Diagnosis May Predict Survival for Patients With Aggressive Lymphoma

Self-reported quality of life among patients diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma can predict overall survival and event-free survival, a Mayo Clinic study has found. lymphoma cancer ribbonThe results were presented today at the 56th American Society of Hematology annual meeting, in San Francisco.

"We studied a large sample of patients with aggressive lymphoma and found that their baseline quality of life is predictive of overall survival and event-free survival, even after adjustment for known factors related to survival," says the study's lead author, Carrie Thompson, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic. "Our findings provide evidence that patient-reported outcomes are as important as other more objective International Prognostic Indicators (IPI) and that quality of life should be assessed at diagnosis as a prognostic factor in patients with aggressive lymphoma." IPI is a clinical tool used to help predict the prognosis of patients with aggressive lymphoma.

More information about the study and a video with Dr. Thompson can be found on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Dec. 7 at 4:02 p.m. PST

Sunday Poster Abstracts and Oral Abstracts

mayoclinic-poster-sundayThe academic output of Mayo Clinic's Hematology and Hematopathology teams was again on display in nearly every aisle of the poster hall at ASH. All told, more than 100 oral and poster abstract had at least one author from our team. We would encourage you to view the full list of the Sunday abstracts.

Dec. 7 at 10:15 a.m. PST

Nivolumab Shows Significant Benefit for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Mayo Clinic Co-led Phase I Study

A phase I clinical trial of nivolumab found that the immune-boosting drug is a highly effective therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The multi-institution study, led by Mayo Clinic, indicated that the drug was safe and led to an 87 percent response rate in patients who had failed on other treatments. Results of the study appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D.
Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D.

The findings support further development of nivolumab, which enhances the immune system’s ability to detect and kill cancer cells. The drug has already demonstrated benefit in the treatment of other cancers, particularly melanoma, renal cell cancer, lung cancer and bladder cancer.

“Nivolumab is a very promising agent that is reasonably well-tolerated and can easily be combined with other agents in the future,” says Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D., a hematologist and co-lead author of the study. “There is evidence now that you can fight cancer by optimizing your immune function, either by enhancing signals that stimulate the immune response or blocking signals that dampen it.”

More information about the study and a video with Dr. Ansell can be found on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Dec. 6 at 5:02 p.m. PST

Saturday Poster Abstracts and Oral Abstracts

On the first day of ASH, Mayo Clinic is very well represented in the poster halls with more than 70 abstracts with at least one Mayo author.

Congratulations to all of our colleagues for this outstanding academic showing!

An ASH attendee views one of the numerous Mayo Clinic abstracts on display on Day 1 of the Poster Session.
An ASH attendee views one of the numerous Mayo Clinic abstracts on display on Day 1 of the Poster Session.

Dec. 6 at 12:50 p.m. PST

Unprecedented Benefit Seen in Worldwide Test of a Three-Drug Treatment for Multiple Myeloma

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study conducted by a worldwide research team led by investigators from Mayo Clinic. The study found that in the treatment of multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to a currently accepted two-drug combination produced significantly better results than using the two drugs alone.

Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B,
Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B,

Interim analysis of the ASPIRE clinical trial, which enrolled 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma from 20 countries, found an “unprecedented” prolongation of the time patients were free of disease progression, says the study’s lead investigator, Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B, a Mayo Clinic oncologist in Arizona. “Patients taking three drugs — carfilzomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone — stayed free of disease progression for 26 months on average,” he says. “No one has reported anything like this before for relapsed multiple myeloma.”

Researchers found that adding carfilzomib to standard treatment (lenalidomide and dexamethasone) resulted in 8.7 months of longer remission, almost 50 percent longer than the standard two-drug combination (26.3 months versus 17.6 months).

More information about the study can be found on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

The study will be also be presented tomorrow at ASH.

Dec. 6 at 11:05 a.m. PST

The Exhibition Hall is Open, Stop by Booth #2437 to Say Hello

Dec. 5, 2014

Mayo Medical Laboratories Pre-Conference Symposium Wrap-up

The conference hall minutes prior to 300-plus attendees arriving.
The conference hall minutes prior to 300-plus attendees arriving.

A capacity crowd of hematologists and other health care professionals packed into one of the conference halls at the Mascone Center. The nearly four-hour symposium featured eight presentations from physicians from the Mayo Clinic Division of Hematopathology.

The first presentation of the day was from Curtis Hanson, M.D., who is the interim chair of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. His presentation set the stage for the symposium with an overview of the current state of test utilization in health care and the many industry, payer, and governmental dynamics shaping how we will practice medicine moving forward. One of the key themes of Dr. Hanson's presentation was that clinicians and the laboratory need to work very closely to ensure optimal care. The clinician-to-laboratory question must shift from, "Do you have this test?" to "Can you help me solve this clinical problem?" He capped off his presentation with several recently published Mayo Clinic case studies focused on a number of test utilization scenarios. To learn more, view his full PowerPoint presentation.

Dr. Hanson introduces Dr. Rong He who presented on Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.
Dr. Hanson introduces Dr. Rong He who presented on Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.

The remaining presentations covered detailed case studies and discussions on a seven unique hematological disorder subjects and areas of focus (click the links below to view the full PowerPoint presentations). The presentations were delivered by Dr. Hanson and his colleagues from the Mayo Clinic Division of Hematolopathology: Rong He, M.D.; Jim Hoyer, M.D., Paul Kurin, M.D.; and Bill Morice, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Optimal Test Utilization for Bone Marrow Staging Evaluations
  • B Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Testing Strategies for Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Response to Therapy
  • Diagnostic Algorithms for Eosinophilia and Mastocytosis
  • Myeloproliferative Neoplasms in 2014: Morphology, Molecular Genetics, and Test Utilization
  • Testing Strategies for Evaluating Patients with Hereditary Causes of Erythrocytosis
  • Plasma Cell Proliferative Disorders: A Rational Approach to the Use of the Laboratory for Diagnosis and Prognostication
  • Amyloidosis, Utilization of New Diagnostic Modalities

Videos of the presentations will be posted in the coming weeks. Check back to this blog and our hematology website.

Andy Tofilon (@andytofilon)

Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories.