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Sandipkumar H. Patel, Sumithira Vasu, Ling Guo, Olivia Lemaster, John C. Byrd and Alison Walker

Acute undifferentiated leukemia (AUL) is a subtype of acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage. There is no standard treatment approach for AUL, although acute lymphoblastic leukemia–like regimens for induction therapy have been used. Additional data suggest that AUL may be better treated as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), given their similarities in genetic, cytogenetic, and gene expression patterns. Somatic mutations of IDH1 are found in 7% to 14% of patients with AML; however, the patient in this study was the first patient with IDH1-mutated AUL treated with ivosidenib. In this case, a woman aged 39 years was found to have anemia and thrombocytopenia after presenting to her primary care physician with fatigue, weight loss, and persistent infections. During further workup of the cytopenia, she was diagnosed with AUL and received 7+3 (daunorubicin, 60 mg/m2/d intravenously on days 1–3, and cytarabine, 100 mg/m2 24-hour continuous intravenous infusion on days 1–7) due to the presence of the IDH1 mutation. Bone marrow biopsy performed on day 14 of 7+3 showed persistent disease, and ivosidenib was initiated due to severe HLA alloimmunization (panel-reactive antibody, 100%) and significant bleeding complications. The patient achieved a complete morphologic and molecular remission on ivosidenib monotherapy despite critical bleeding complications during induction. Targeted therapy using ivosidenib may represent an encouraging therapeutic option in patients with AUL and IDH1 mutations. Additional evaluation of ivosidenib in this subgroup of patients with AUL is needed.

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Pamela Sue Becker, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Laura M. Alwan, Kimo Bachiashvili, Anna Brown, Rita Cool, Peter Curtin, Shira Dinner, Ivana Gojo, Ashley Hicks, Avyakta Kallam, Wajih Zaheer Kidwai, Dwight D. Kloth, Eric H. Kraut, Daniel Landsburg, Gary H. Lyman, Ryan Miller, Sudipto Mukherjee, Shiven Patel, Lia E. Perez, Adam Poust, Raajit Rampal, Rachel Rosovsky, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Sepideh Shayani, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Kelly Westbrook, Peter Westervelt, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Keller and Lenora A. Pluchino

Management of febrile neutropenia (FN) is an integral part of supportive care for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Growth Factors provide suggestions for appropriate evaluation, risk determination, prophylaxis, and management of FN. These NCCN Guidelines are intended to guide clinicians in the appropriate use of growth factors for select patients undergoing treatment of nonmyeloid malignancies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight important updates to the NCCN Guidelines regarding the incorporation of newly FDA-approved granulocyte-colony stimulating factor biosimilars for the prevention and treatment of FN.

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Patrick Brown, Hiroto Inaba, Colleen Annesley, Jill Beck, Susan Colace, Mari Dallas, Kenneth DeSantes, Kara Kelly, Carrie Kitko, Norman Lacayo, Nicole Larrier, Luke Maese, Kris Mahadeo, Ronica Nanda, Valentina Nardi, Vilmarie Rodriguez, Jenna Rossoff, Laura Schuettpelz, Lewis Silverman, Jessica Sun, Weili Sun, David Teachey, Victor Wong, Gregory Yanik, Alyse Johnson-Chilla and Ndiya Ogba

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common pediatric malignancy. Advancements in technology that enhance our understanding of the biology of the disease, risk-adapted therapy, and enhanced supportive care have contributed to improved survival rates. However, additional clinical management is needed to improve outcomes for patients classified as high risk at presentation (eg, T-ALL, infant ALL) and who experience relapse. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for pediatric ALL provide recommendations on the workup, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of the disease, including guidance on supportive care, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and pharmacogenomics. This portion of the NCCN Guidelines focuses on the frontline and relapsed/refractory management of pediatric ALL.

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Bishal Gyawali, Elvira D’Andrea, Jessica M. Franklin and Aaron S. Kesselheim

Background: Many new targeted cancer drugs have received FDA approval based on durable responses in nonrandomized controlled trials (non-RCTs). The goal of this study was to evaluate whether the response rates (RRs) and durations of response (DoRs) of targeted cancer drugs observed in non-RCTs are consistent when these drugs are tested in RCTs. Methods: We used the FDA’s Table of Pharmacogenomic Biomarkers in Drug Labeling to identify cancer drugs that were approved based on changes in biomarker endpoints through December 2017. We then identified the non-RCTs and RCTs for these drugs for the given indications and extracted the RRs and DoRs. We compared the RRs and median DoR in non-RCTs versus RCTs using the ratio of RRs and the ratio of DoRs, defined as the RRs (or DoRs) in non-RCTs divided by the RRs (or DoRs) in RCTs. The ratio of RRs or DoRs was pooled across the trial pairs using random-effects meta-analysis. Results: Of the 21 drug–indication pairs selected, both non-RCTs and RCTs were available for 19. The RRs and DoRs in non-RCTs were greater than those in RCTs in 63% and 87% of cases, respectively. The pooled ratio of RRs was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.95–1.20), and the pooled ratio of DoRs was 1.17 (95% CI, 1.03–1.33). RRs and DoRs derived from non-RCTs were also poor surrogates for overall survival derived from RCTs. Conclusions: The RRs were not different between non-RCTs and RCTs of cancer drugs approved based on changes to a biomarker, but the DoRs in non-RCTs were significantly higher than in RCTs. Caution must be exercised when approving or prescribing targeted drugs based on data on durable responses derived from non-RCTs, because the responses could be overestimates and poor predictors of survival benefit.

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Daphna Y. Spiegel, Matthew J. Boyer, Julian C. Hong, Christina D. Williams, Michael J. Kelley, Joseph K. Salama and Manisha Palta

Background: Adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after chemoradiation (CRT) and surgery for locoregionally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) is a standard of care in the United States. This study examined the role, optimal regimen, and duration of AC using data from the largest integrated health system in the United States. Patients and Methods: Using the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry, patients with stage II–III rectal cancer diagnosed in 2001 through 2011 who received neoadjuvant CRT and surgery with or without AC were identified. Kaplan-Meier analysis, log-rank tests, and propensity score (PS) adjustment analysis were used to assess survival. Results: A total of 866 patients were identified; 417 received AC and 449 did not (observation [OBS] group). Median follow-up was 109 months. Median disease-specific survival (DSS) was not reached. Six-year DSS was 73.7%; 79.5% for the AC group versus 68.0% for the OBS group. PS-matched analysis for DSS favored AC (P=.0002). Median overall survival (OS) was 90.8 months. Six-year OS was 56.7%; 64.3% for AC versus 49.6% for OBS. In PS-matched analysis, median OS was 117.4 months for AC and 74.3 months for OBS (P<.0001). A DSS advantage was seen when comparing ≥4 months with <4 months of AC (P=.023). No difference in DSS or OS was seen with single-agent versus multiagent AC. Conclusions: In this population of patients with LARC treated with neoadjuvant CRT and surgery, OS and DSS were improved among those treated with AC versus OBS. DSS benefits were seen with ≥4 months of AC. No additional benefit was observed with multiagent therapy. In the absence of phase III data, these findings support the use of AC for LARC.

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Margaret Tempero

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Christa Meyer, Lih-Wen Mau, Elizabeth A. Murphy, Ellen M. Denzen, Ellyce Hayes, Darlene Haven, Heather Moore, Jackie Foster, Jaime M. Preussler and Linda J. Burns

Background: Outcomes after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are better when HCT is performed during first complete remission (CR1). This study aimed to identify and address knowledge gaps that affect the timely referral of patients for HCT consultation. Methods: A mixed-methods educational needs assessment included a national survey and focus groups consisting of hematologists/oncologists. An educational intervention of 3 webinars addressed identified knowledge gaps. Results: A total of 150 hematologists/oncologists were recruited for the survey, of whom 20 participated in focus groups. Physicians in practice 0 to 10 years were 4.2 times more likely to refer for HCT consultation in CR1 than those with >10 years in practice (P=.0027). Physicians seeing ≤10 patients with AML in the past year were 3.7 times more likely to refer for HCT consultation in CR1 than those seeing >10 patients (P=.0028). Knowledge gaps included (1) improper classification of molecular/cytogenetic results for risk stratification, (2) lack of understanding that disease stage impacts outcomes, and (3) use of chronologic age alone for referral decision-making. Combined attendance for the webinars was 1,098 clinicians; >74% of participants indicated that they would apply the knowledge they gained in clinical practice. Trends were observed toward improvement in identifying favorable-risk AML, from 48% to 60% (n=85; P=.12); improvement in identifying 2 poor-risk cytogenetic/molecular abnormalities, with the percentage of respondents indicating chromosome 7 deletion increasing from 51% to 70% (n=53; P=.05) and that of respondents indicating TP53 mutation increasing from 42% to 62% (n=62; P=.03); and improvement in identifying which patients with AML aged >60 years were most likely to benefit from HCT based on cytogenetic/molecular features, with the percentage of correct responses increasing from 66% to 81% (n=62; P=.07). Conclusions: The webinars met the educational needs of learners and improved knowledge gaps. This study provided novel insights into the learning needs of clinicians who care for patients with AML and a roadmap for future educational interventions.