Azatilidine/Nivolumab Therapy Shows Promise.


A combination of the standard-of-care chemotherapy drug known as azacitidine, with nivolumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, demonstrated an encouraging response rate and overall survival in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to findings from a Phase II study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

The study followed 70 patients with an average of two prior treatments for relapsed AML, and reported a 33% overall response, with 22% of patients in complete remission. The drug combination particularly was effective in patients who previously had not received hypomethylating agents (HMAs), such as azacitidine or decitabine, with an overall response rate of 52% in these individuals.

"In addition, bone marrow samples taken prior to treatment indicated a higher frequency of pre-therapy bone marrow CD3 and CD8 cells predicted for response to therapy," says Naval Daver, associate professor in the Department of Leukemia. "In particular, CD3 appeared to have a high sensitivity and specificity rate for predicting response, indicating...

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