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Experts Preview Anticipated Sessions, Research Ahead of the EHA 2024 Congress

Experts share what they are looking forward to most at this year's European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress.

Before this year's European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress kicks off in Madrid on June 13, 3 experts discussed what they are looking forward to most with The American Journal of Managed Care®:

  • António Almeida, MD, PhD, current EHA president, head of the hematology department at Hospital da Luz, founding dean of Católica Medical School
  • Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, chief of the myeloma division, leader of the experimental therapeutics program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of medicine at the University of Miami
  • Hans Lee, MD, director of multiple myeloma clinical research, associate professor in the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Transcript

What are you looking forward to most at the EHA 2024 Congress?

Almeida: As EHA president, naturally, I'm looking very much forward to the presidential sessions. I think we have a unique opportunity this year in that we have prizes given to people who have been very prominent in the field.

We have a prize given to Maria Domenica Cappellini, MD, who has been fundamental in a lot of work in treating thalassemia in Italy, and she will be giving us an overview of thalassemia treatment; I think that is very much unmissable.

John Gribben, MD, DSc, will also be giving us a talk on CLL [chronic lymphocytic leukemia], and not only is he an expert, but he is very much up to date. Again, that will be very exciting.

I think the presidential sessions are very important, but also not to miss are the late-breaking abstracts. Very similar to the other oral sessions, the late-breaking abstracts will show results of clinical trials in very fundamental diseases, such as multiple myeloma, but also the discovery of new hemoglobin variants and genetic principles. So, I think all of these will be very exciting to watch.

Landgren: I think, at EHA, there will be new information coming out for myeloma. We will hear about some of the newer frontline therapy studies in multiple myeloma; some of it was presented at ASCO, but we will hear even more at EHA.

The use of immunotherapy added to the backbones that have been used for quite some time shows that you can improve the outcome for patients by adding an immunotherapy; this seems to be independent of whether the patient is young or fit, or if the patient is older. So, this would be what people historically call transplant eligible and transplant ineligible, so you can add new, very effective, low-toxic immunotherapy drugs and improve outcomes independent of transplant status.

At ASCO, that was brought up. I was the discussant for one of the sessions at ASCO, and I asked the question, is it time to retire this 40-year-old terminology of transplant eligible and ineligible? A lot of people said yes, that is probably next, so that will be part of the discussion at EHA. I think we will also talk about a lot of other new immunotherapies.

Lee: I'm looking forward to the presentation of the phase 3 IMROZ study, which was a phase 3 randomized study of the addition of isatuximab to bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone [Isa-VRd] versus bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone [VRd] in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma that are transplant ineligible.

This data was also recently presented at this year's ASCO meeting earlier this month. So, the data will be presented again at this year's EHA meeting, basically showing the benefits of the addition of an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody with isatuximab versus the 3-drug regimen of just bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone.

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