Articles on treating and protecting patients with blood cancers from COVID-19 and the positive results of zanubrutinib to treat leukemia and lymphoma were among the most read of the year.
The most-read leukemia and lymphoma articles on AJMC.com reviewed studies to treat and protect patients with blood cancers from COVID-19, as well as the latest positive results from trials evaluating zanubrutinib to treat leukemia and lymphoma.
Here are the 5 most-read leukemia and lymphoma articles of 2021.
5. Convalescent Plasma Treatment Increases Odds of COVID-19 Survival Among Patients With Hematologic Malignancies
Convalescent plasma may increase the odds of survival for patients with hematologic cancers who contract COVID-19, according to a study of more than 900 patients with cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
The patients were all hospitalized and the study found that receiving plasma improved the rate of 30-day mortality by 40%.
4. Positive Results From SEQUOIA Analyses for Zanubrutinib in Treatment-Naive CLL and SLL
An interim analyses of the phase 3 SEQUOIA trial found zanubrutinib (Brukinsa) had superior progression-free survival compared with bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with treatment-naive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL).
The interim results also showed that zanubrutinib, a second-generation Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was generally well tolerated.
More results from the SEQUOIA trial were presented in December at the 63rd Annual American Society of Hematology Meeting and Exposition.
3. NCCN Guidelines Add Zanubrutinib as Preferred Therapy for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia
In June, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) updated its guidelines for Waldenström macroglobulinemia to include zanubrutinib as a preferred regimen. Preferred interventions in the guidelines are based on superior efficacy, safety, and evidence.
Zanubrutinib was added as a category 1 preferred regimen for the primary therapy of Waldenström macroglobulinemia/lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (WM/LPL) and as a category 1 preferred regimen for previously treated WM/LPL. Category 1 recommendations are based on high-level evidence with uniform NCCN consensus that the intervention is appropriate.
2. Off-the-Shelf Antiviral T Cells Can Treat Painful Complication After Stem Cell Transplants
A common but painful complication for patients with leukemia or lymphoma after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is BK virus (BKV)–associated hemorrhagic cystitis. A phase 2 trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found BK virus–specific T cells from healthy donors are an effective and safe off-the-shelf treatment for these patients.
1. Reasons for COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Patients With Blood Cancer Are Complex
In March 2021, a survey of US patients with blood cancers found that 30% of them were hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and only half were “very likely” to get vaccinated. The survey was conducted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Boston University Questrom School of Business, and The Behaviouralist, a London-based research consultancy.
Patients with leukemia and lymphoma are more likely than patients with other cancers to get seriously ill or die from COVID-19, but the vaccine trials did not include patients with cancer, which means physicians cannot give straightforward answers about efficacy and safety for these patients.