Special Issue "Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694). This special issue belongs to the section "Cancer Therapy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Pau Montesinos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Departamento de Hematologia, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, València, Spain
2. CIBERONC, Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
Interests: Acute Myeloid Leukemia; Cancer; Hematology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Precision medicine has opened the door to personalized therapy for specific Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patient populations with promising results. Several targeted therapies have been approved or are being tested for specific mutations (i.e., FLT3, IDH, BCL-2, and TP53), obtaining improvements in clinical outcomes and less toxicity as compared with some intensive or non-intensive regimens, potentially allowing for combination therapy. Unfit patients, especially older patients, have higher disease progression and a lower tolerance than fit patients, and are treated with non-intensive schemes (i.e., low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) or hypomethylating agents (HMAs)). This subset of patients could potentially benefit from emerging therapies focused on specific poor prognosis features (FLT3, secondary AML). HMAs in combination with small molecule inhibitors (unspecific such as glasdegib or venetoclax or specific such as FLT3 or IDH inhibitors) could increase survival and quality of life in older/unfit patients, which represent the most difficult-to-treat AML population. Venetoclax is an oral selective inhibitor of broad-spectrum B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2), and therefore is not considered to be a targeted therapy. The promising results of phase 1b trials exploring the combination of venetoclax plus HMAs or LDAC led to FDA approval and commercialization of this new drug for AML. The recent positive results of the phase 3 trial of azacitidine plus venetoclax could open the door to further indications of venetoclax in AML. Appropriate clinical development and use of non-approved combinations in the context of clinical trials should be recommended in order to avoid unexpected adverse events in AML patients.

This Special Issue will highlight the critical role of supportive care and appropriate management of new drugs and combinations to ensure therapeutic success in AML cases. In addition, we will critically assess epidemiological and real-life evidence of AML outcomes beyond the clinical trial setting.

Dr. Pau Montesinos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Risk Stratification, Measurable Residual Disease, and Outcomes of AML Patients with a Trisomy 8 Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5679; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225679 - 13 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Background: For most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring a trisomy 8 an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a suitable and recommended consolidation therapy. However, comparative outcome analyses between patients with and without trisomy 8 undergoing allogeneic HSCT have not [...] Read more.
Background: For most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring a trisomy 8 an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a suitable and recommended consolidation therapy. However, comparative outcome analyses between patients with and without trisomy 8 undergoing allogeneic HSCT have not been performed so far. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical features, outcomes, and measurable residual disease (MRD) of 659 AML (12%, n = 81, with a trisomy 8) patients subjected to allogeneic HSCT as a consolidation therapy. Results: The presence of a trisomy 8 associated with a trend for higher age at diagnosis, AML of secondary origin, lower white blood cell counts at diagnosis, worse ELN2017 genetic risk, wild-type NPM1, and mutated IDH1/2 and JAK2. Outcomes after allogeneic HSCT in the entire cohort did not differ between patients with a sole trisomy 8, trisomy 8 with additional cytogenetic aberrations or without a trisomy 8. A trisomy 8 did not affect outcomes within the three ELN2017 risk groups. In accordance with findings in unselected patient cohorts, persistent MRD at allogeneic HSCT in patients with a trisomy 8 identified individuals with a higher risk of relapse following allogeneic HSCT. Conclusions: Outcomes of trisomy 8 patients after allogeneic HSCT did not compare unfavorably to that of other AML patients following allogeneic HSCT. Rather than the presence or absence of a trisomy 8, additional genetic aberrations and MRD at HSCT define outcome differences and aid in informed treatment decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Article
CBFB Break-Apart FISH Testing: An Analysis of 1629 AML Cases with a Focus on Atypical Findings and Their Implications in Clinical Diagnosis and Management
Cancers 2021, 13(21), 5354; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215354 - 26 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a confirmatory test to establish a diagnosis of inv(16)/t(16;16) AML. However, incidental findings and their clinical diagnostic implication have not been systemically studied. We studied 1629 CBFB FISH cases performed in our institution, 262 (16.1%), 1234 (75.7%), [...] Read more.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a confirmatory test to establish a diagnosis of inv(16)/t(16;16) AML. However, incidental findings and their clinical diagnostic implication have not been systemically studied. We studied 1629 CBFB FISH cases performed in our institution, 262 (16.1%), 1234 (75.7%), and 133 (8.2%) were reported as positive, normal, and abnormal, respectively. The last included CBFB copy number changes (n = 120) and atypical findings such as 3′CBFB deletion (n = 11), 5′CBFB deletion (n = 1), and 5′CBFB gain (n = 1). Correlating with CBFB-MYH11 RT-PCR results, totally 271 CBFB rearrangement cases were identified, including five with discrepancies between FISH and RT-PCR due to new partner genes (n = 3), insertion (n = 1), or rare CBFB-MYH11 variant (n = 1) and eight with 3′CBFB deletion. All cases with atypical findings and/or discrepancies presented clinical diagnostic challenges. Correlating FISH signal patterns and karyotypes, additional chromosome 16 aberrations (AC16As) show impacts on the re-definition of a complex karyotype and prognostic prediction. The CBFB rearrangement but not all AC16As will be detected by NGS-based methods. Therefore, FISH testing is currently still needed to provide a quick and straightforward confirmatory inv(16)/t(16;16) AML diagnosis and additional information related to clinical management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Article
Risk, Characteristics and Biomarkers of Cytokine Release Syndrome in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory AML or MDS Treated with CD3xCD123 Bispecific Antibody APVO436
Cancers 2021, 13(21), 5287; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215287 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
We evaluate the risk, characteristics and biomarkers of treatment-emergent cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who received APVO436 during the dose-escalation phase of a Phase 1B study (ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT03647800). Of four patients [...] Read more.
We evaluate the risk, characteristics and biomarkers of treatment-emergent cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who received APVO436 during the dose-escalation phase of a Phase 1B study (ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT03647800). Of four patients who developed Grade ≥ 3 CRS, two received steroid prophylaxis. The dose level, gender, race, obesity, or baseline hematologic parameters in peripheral blood did not predict the risk of CRS. Patients with a higher leukemia burden as determined by a higher total WBC, higher percentage of blasts in bone marrow, or higher percentage of blasts in peripheral blood (by hematopathology or immunophenotyping) did not have a higher incidence of CRS. There was an age difference between patients who did versus patients who did not develop CRS (72.9 ± 1.6 years (Median 73.5 years) vs. 63.3 ± 2.3 years (Median: 65.0 years), which was borderline significant (p = 0.04). Premedication with steroids did not eliminate the risk of CRS. Cytokine profiling in patients who developed CRS after APVO436 infusion indicates that the predominant cytokine in this inflammatory cytokine response was IL-6. APVO436-associated CRS was generally manageable with tocilizumab with or without dexamethasone. Notably, the development of CRS after APVO436 therapy did not appear to be associated with a response. The prolonged stabilization of disease, partial remissions and complete remissions were achieved in both patients who experienced CRS, as well as patients who did not experience CRS after APVO436 infusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Article
A Clinical Phase 1B Study of the CD3xCD123 Bispecific Antibody APVO436 in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia or Myelodysplastic Syndrome
Cancers 2021, 13(16), 4113; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13164113 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
APVO436 is a recombinant T cell-engaging humanized bispecific antibody designed to redirect host T cell cytotoxicity in an MHC-independent manner to CD123-expressing blast cells from patients with hematologic malignancies and has exhibited single-agent anti-leukemia activity in murine xenograft models of acute myeloid leukemia [...] Read more.
APVO436 is a recombinant T cell-engaging humanized bispecific antibody designed to redirect host T cell cytotoxicity in an MHC-independent manner to CD123-expressing blast cells from patients with hematologic malignancies and has exhibited single-agent anti-leukemia activity in murine xenograft models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this first-in-human (FIH) multicenter phase 1B study, we sought to determine the safety and tolerability of APVO436 in R/R AML/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients and identify a clinically active recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) level for its further clinical development. A total of 46 R/R AML/MDS patients who had failed 1–8 prior lines of therapy received APVO436 as weekly intravenous (IV) infusions at 10 different dose levels, ranging from a Minimum Anticipated Biological Effect Level (MABEL) of 0.3 mcg to 60 mcg. APVO436 exhibited a favorable safety profile with acceptable tolerability and manageable drug-related adverse events (AEs), and its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was not reached at a weekly dose of 60 mcg. The most common APVO436-related AEs were infusion-related reactions (IRR) occurring in 13 (28.3%) patients and cytokine release syndrome (CRS) occurring in 10 (21.7%). The single dose RP2D level was identified as 0.2 mcg/kg. Preliminary efficacy signals were observed in both AML and MDS patients: Prolonged stable disease (SD), partial remissions (PR), and complete remissions (CR) were observed in R/R AML patients as best overall responses to APVO436 at the RP2D level. Three of six evaluable MDS patients had marrow CRs. The safety and preliminary evidence of efficacy of APVO436 in R/R AML and MDS patients warrant further investigation of its clinical impact potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Communication
Novel Polyethylene Glycol-Conjugated Triazole Derivative with High Thyrointegrin αvβ3 Affinity in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Management
Cancers 2021, 13(16), 4070; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13164070 - 13 Aug 2021
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Abstract
(1) Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) accounts for up to one-third of more than 60,000 leukemia cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Primary AML cells express membrane αvβ3 integrin, which is associated with adverse prognosis and resistance to chemotherapies. A novel anticancer compound [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) accounts for up to one-third of more than 60,000 leukemia cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Primary AML cells express membrane αvβ3 integrin, which is associated with adverse prognosis and resistance to chemotherapies. A novel anticancer compound Polyethylene glycol-conjugated bi-TriAzole Tetraiodothyroacetic acid (P-bi-TAT) interacts with high affinity (Ki 0.3 nM) and specificity with the thyrointegrin αvβ3. We evaluated P-bi-TAT activities in two different AML models representing monocytic and myelocytic forms of acute leukemia. (2) Methods and Results: The in vivo AML models were established prior to initiation of treatment protocols by grafting human leukemia cells in immunocompromised mice. IVIS imaging scans revealed that leukemic colonies were extensively established throughout the bone marrow, liver, and lung of the untreated animals. In animals treated with P-bi-TAT at daily doses ranging from 1–10 mg/kg, subcutaneously for 2–3 weeks, IVIS imaging scans revealed 95% reduction in bone marrow colonies and leukemic colonies in liver and lung. Also, the leukemic cells were not detected in bone marrow samples of P-bi-TAT-treated animals. The anti-neoplastic effect of P-bi-TAT administration on leukemic cells was associated with marked inhibition of NF-κB activity. We conclude that experimental P-bi-TAT therapy in vivo appears extraordinarily effective against the two forms of human AML models in mice. Because the P-bi-TAT molecular target, thyrointegrin αvβ3, is consistently expressed in many, if not all, clinical AML samples, P-bi-TAT-based therapy seems to have significant clinical potential in treating most AML sub-types. Hence, P-bi-TAT represents a promising targeted therapeutic agent for AML patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Review

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Review
CD33 Expression and Gentuzumab Ozogamicin in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Cancers 2021, 13(13), 3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133214 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most frequent acute leukemia in adults, has been historically treated with infusional cytarabine (ara-c) + daunorubicin (3 + 7) for at least 40 years. The first “target therapy” to be introduced was the monoclonal anti-CD33 gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) [...] Read more.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most frequent acute leukemia in adults, has been historically treated with infusional cytarabine (ara-c) + daunorubicin (3 + 7) for at least 40 years. The first “target therapy” to be introduced was the monoclonal anti-CD33 gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) in 2004. Unfortunately, in 2010 it was voluntarily withdrawn from the market both for safety reasons related to potential liver toxicity and veno-occlusive disease (VOD) and because clinical studies failed to confirm the clinical benefit during induction and maintenance. Seven years later, GO was re-approved based on new data, including insights into its mechanism of action on its target receptor CD33 expressed on myeloid cells. The present review focuses on current biological information and clinical data from several studies investigating GO. Cytogenetic, molecular, and immunophenotypic data are now able to predict the potential positive advantages of GO, with the exception of high-risk AML patients who do not seem to benefit. GO can be considered a ‘repurposed drug’ that could be beneficial for some patients with AML, mostly in combination with new drugs already approved or currently in testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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Other

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Systematic Review
Use of Azacitidine or Decitabine for the Up-Front Setting in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5677; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225677 - 12 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Irruption of decitabine and azacitidine has led to profound changes in the upfront management of older acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). However, they have not been directly compared in a randomised clinical trial. In addition, there are no studies comparing the optimal treatment schedule [...] Read more.
Irruption of decitabine and azacitidine has led to profound changes in the upfront management of older acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). However, they have not been directly compared in a randomised clinical trial. In addition, there are no studies comparing the optimal treatment schedule of each drug in AML. A systematic review and meta-analysis on the efficacy of decitabine and azacitidine monotherapy in newly diagnosed AML was conducted. Randomised controlled trials and retrospective studies were included. A total of 2743 patients from 23 cohorts were analysed (10 cohorts of azacitidine and 13 of decitabine). Similar response rates were observed for azacitidine (38%, 95% CI: 30–47%) compared to decitabine (40%, 95% CI: 32–48%) (p = 0.825). Overall survival (OS) between azacitidine (10.04 months, 95% CI: 8.36–11.72) and decitabine (8.79 months, 95% CI: 7.62–9.96) was also similar (p = 0.386). Patients treated with azacitidine showed a lower median OS when azacitidine was administered for 5 days (6.28 months, 95% CI: 4.23–8.32) compared to the standard 7-day schedule (10.83 months, 95% CI: 9.07–12.59, p = 0.002). Among patients treated with decitabine, response rates and OS were not significantly different between 5-day and 10-day decitabine regimens. Despite heterogeneity between studies, we found no differences in response rates and OS in AML patients treated with azacitidine or decitabine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML))
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