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Paul C. Hendrie and David A. Garcia

Patients with cancer have long been an important and enigmatic part of basic science and clinical research in thromboembolic disease. The reciprocal deleterious effects on outcomes of a cancer diagnosis on patients with thrombosis and a thrombotic event on patients with cancer have been observed and documented for more than a century. Patients with cancer continue to be one of the more difficult populations to manage using the available unfractionated and low-molecular-weight heparins and the oral vitamin K antagonists. High rates of failure and bleeding complications have made researchers and practitioners alike seek newer more effective anticoagulation agents. The novel oral direct thrombin and activated factor Xa inhibitors have been shown in large clinical trials to be safe and efficacious in many prophylaxis and treatment settings. However, practitioners who treat patients with cancer should be cautious using these agents until more studies are specifically performed in this thrombophilic patient population.

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Ang Li, Qian Wu, Suhong Luo, Greg S. Warnick, Neil A. Zakai, Edward N. Libby, Brian F. Gage, David A. Garcia, Gary H. Lyman and Kristen M. Sanfilippo

Abstract

Background: Although venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a significant complication for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) receiving immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), no validated clinical model predicts VTE in this population. This study aimed to derive and validate a new risk assessment model (RAM) for IMiD-associated VTE. Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed MM receiving IMiDs were selected from the SEER-Medicare database (n=2,397) to derive a RAM and then data from the Veterans Health Administration database (n=1,251) were used to externally validate the model. A multivariable cause-specific Cox regression model was used for model development. Results: The final RAM, named the “SAVED” score, included 5 clinical variables: prior surgery, Asian race, VTE history, age ≥80 years, and dexamethasone dose. The model stratified approximately 30% of patients in both the derivation and the validation cohorts as high-risk. Hazard ratios (HRs) were 1.85 (P<.01) and 1.98 (P<.01) for high- versus low-risk groups in the derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. In contrast, the method of stratification recommended in the current NCCN Guidelines for Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolic Disease had HRs of 1.21 (P=.17) and 1.41 (P=.07) for the corresponding risk groups in the 2 datasets. Conclusions: The SAVED score outperformed the current NCCN Guidelines in risk-stratification of patients with MM receiving IMiD therapy. This clinical model can help inform providers and patients of VTE risk before IMiD initiation and provides a simplified clinical backbone for further prognostic biomarker development in this population.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Eyal Attar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, James M. Foran, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Steven D. Gore, David Head, Rami Komrokji, Lori J. Maness, Michael Millenson, Stephen D. Nimer, Margaret R. O'Donnell, Mark A. Schroeder, Paul J. Shami, Richard M. Stone, James E. Thompson and Peter Westervelt

Overview The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent myeloid clonal hemopathies with relatively heterogeneous spectrums of presentation. The major clinical problems in these disorders are morbidities caused by cytopenias and the potential for MDS to evolve into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the general population, MDS occur in 5 per 100,000 people. However, among individuals older than 70 years, the incidence increases to between 22 and 45 per 100,000 and increases further with age. Managing MDS is complicated by the generally advanced age of the patients (median ages, 65–70 years), attendant nonhematologic comorbidities, and relative inability to tolerate certain intensive forms of therapy among older patients. In addition, when the illness progresses to AML, these patients experience lower response rates to standard therapy than those with de novo AML.1 Diagnostic Classification Initial evaluation of patients with suspected MDS requires careful assessment of their peripheral blood smear and blood counts, marrow morphology, duration of their abnormal blood counts, other potential causes for their cytopenias, and concomitant illnesses. The French-American-British (FAB) classification initially categorized patients for the diagnostic evaluation of MDS.2 Dysplastic changes in at least 2 of the 3 hematopoietic cell lines have been used by most histopathologists to diagnose MDS. These changes include megaloblastoid erythropoiesis, nucleocytoplasmic asynchrony in the early myeloid and erythroid precursors, and dysmorphic megakaryocytes.3 Patients with MDS are classified as having 1 of 5 subtypes of disease: refractory anemia (RA); RA with ringed sideroblasts (RARS); RA with excess of blasts (RAEB); RAEB in transformation (RAEB-T); or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia...
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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Aref Al-Kali, Stefan K. Barta, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Hetty Carraway, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Ruth Horsfall, Robert A. Johnson, Mark Juckett, Virginia M. Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O'Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Alison R. Walker, Peter Westervelt, Amer Zeidan, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogenous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course. Diagnostic criteria to better stratify patients with MDS continue to evolve, based on morphology, cytogenetics, and the presence of cytopenias. More accurate classification of patients will allow for better treatment guidance. Treatment encompasses supportive care, treatment of anemia, low-intensity therapy, and high-intensity therapy. This portion of the guidelines focuses on diagnostic classification, molecular abnormalities, therapeutic options, and recommended treatment approaches.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Eyal Attar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Uma Borate, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Steven D. Gore, David Head, Rami Komrokji, Lori J. Maness, Michael Millenson, Margaret R. O’Donnell, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Richard M. Stone, James E. Thompson, Peter Westervelt, Benton Wheeler, Dorothy A. Shead and Maoko Naganuma

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic disorders characterized by cytopenias, dysplasia in one or more myeloid lineages, and the potential for development of acute myeloid leukemia. These disorders primarily affect older adults. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for MDS provide recommendations on the diagnostic evaluation and classification of MDS, risk evaluation according to established prognostic assessment tools (including the new revised International Prognostic Scoring System), treatment options according to risk categories, and management of related anemia.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Uma Borate, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Virginia Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O’Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Bart Scott, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Peter Westervelt, Benton Wheeler, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The NCCN Guidelines for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogeneous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course that depends largely on risk factors. Risk evaluation is therefore a critical component of decision-making in the treatment of MDS. The development of newer treatments and the refinement of current treatment modalities are designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce side effects. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the recent updates to the guidelines, which include the incorporation of a revised prognostic scoring system, addition of molecular abnormalities associated with MDS, and refinement of treatment options involving a discussion of cost of care.