Tag Archive for: FLT3 mutation
What do acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients need to know about FLT3 mutation? Dr. Naval Daver from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses considerations about the mutation. Learn about the incidence of the FLT3 mutation, risk of relapse, and treatment options.
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Daver: “ it is very important to know the status of the FLT3 the mutation, both in diagnosis to see if one would benefit by the addition of the FLT3 inhibitor to the frontline induction chemo as well as in relapse because this would open up the option for FLT3 inhibitor targeted therapies, which would probably have the best chance of response and long-term outcomes.“
Dr. Daver, for AML with a FLT3 mutation, what have we learned, and what is currently being investigated?
Dr. Naval Daver:
AML with the FLT3 mutation is very important from both prognostic and from therapy perspective, prognostically, this is considered to be one of the high-risk mutations, it’s also one of the most frequent mutations in AML in, seen in about 30 to 35 percent of younger and about 15 to 20 percent of older patients with AML, and these patients often have very prolific disease, elevated white count leukocytosis. And without the addition of FLT3 inhibitors, there is a high risk of relapse and a short overall survival.
Over the last 15 years, a number of targeted therapies called the FLT3 inhibitors have emerged, these started with the first-generation FLT3 inhibitors drugs, such as lestaurtinib and sorafenib (Nexavar), now we have the second-generation FLT3 inhibitors, this includes drugs like gilteritinib (Xospata), quizartinib, and crenolanib which are more potent, specific, and better tolerated.
The first study that showed that the incorporation of FLT3 inhibitors improves outcome was a study called RATIFY Study, this is a frontline study looking at newly diagnosed FLT3 mutated younger patients where we added the FLT3 inhibitor midostaurin (Rydapt or Tauritmo), which is the first-generation FLT3 inhibitor to the standard induction chemo versus a placebo, added to standard induction chemo, induction chemo being standard of care to that time and this showed that in the addition of FLT3 inhibitor to induction chemo did improve remission rates and overall survival as compared to induction, and led to the approval of the FLT3 inhibitor midostaurin in the frontline setting.
Since then, two other FLT3 inhibitors, second-generation potent FLT3 inhibitors drugs called gilteritinib, and lestaurtinib have also been evaluated. Gilteritinib, in a relapsed setting where single-agent gilteritinib, has given 50 to 60 percent response rates and has been extremely well-tolerated and much better than any other salvage treatment in the FLT3 space that we have ever seen, and in the frontline setting quizartinib and second-generation inhibitor also very recently, just a few months ago, there was data showing the combination of his art with intensive chemotherapy improved survival as compared to intensive chemotherapy alone.
And so we think we are…they will be a third for the inhibitor to get approved, so there’s been a lot of progress overall in the three space, and there are other newer FLT3 inhibitors also in early clinical investigation that we think could eventually be as part or even better, the activation point related to this question is that, for the inhibitors have dramatically improved outcomes, both in the frontline setting when added to traditional backbone intensive chemotherapy as well as potentially lower intensity therapy, as well as in the relapsed refractory setting, and it is very important to know the status of the FLT3 the mutation, both in diagnosis to see if one would benefit by the addition of the FLT3 inhibitor to the frontline induction chemo as well as in relapse because this would open up the option for FLT3 inhibitor targeted therapies, which would probably have the best chance of response and long-term outcomes.
Are some acute myeloid leukemia (AML) subtypes more common in some demographic groups? Dr. Naval Daver from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses different forms of AML. Learn about the extent of knowledge about AML subtype demographics.
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Daver: “Patients, when they transformed what we call secondary AML or MDS, seemed to have a higher predilection for certain high-risk communications such as TP53, and these are best treated with ongoing frontline clinical trials at large academic centers.“
Dr. Daver, what are the different subtypes of AML, are various subtypes more prevalent in certain demographics?
Dr. Naval Daver:
The main way we have classified AML has actually been changing, so when we talk about subtypes there are actually two different classification systems like WHO and the ICC or ELM classification system. Traditionally, we have been using the ELM for prognostic classification of AML, this divides patients into three major buckets, what we call a favorable intermediate and adverse, and these are based on the underlying chromosome cytogenetics abnormalities and molecular or next-generation sequencing profile of the patients.
In general, in AML there has actually been limited data and publications regarding the demographic distribution, whether it’s regional or racial or cultural, one of the things that we do know, for example, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia is that in the Hispanic population, there seems to be higher frequency of things like FLT3-positive ALL.
But in the AML population, there actually does not seem to be, at least based on published data, huge differences in the molecular or cytogenetic presentation. We have seen some data from different countries that there may be a difference in the prevalence of communications across different regions. For example, in Japan, we do see that the incidence of FLT3 and NPM1 appears to be lower than what has been reported in the United States.
Also, we see in Europe and United States, the incidence of these mutations with FLT3, NPM1 is similar, and then we are seeing in some of the larger academic centers in the U.S., there is an enrichment of referral of patients with TP53, which is very adverse and most difficult to treat mutation, and a lot of that we think is because patients with solid tumors and with other hematological malignancies are surviving longer with the CAR-T therapies, immunotherapies, and because it is over time, they have a risk of developing second AML, which is enriched for TP53 mutation, so we do see over the last two decades that from TP53, which used to be about 5 percent to 10 percent, is now up to 20 percent to 25 percent of AML and growing in proportion because it’s better survival and solid tumors and lymphomas.
The activation tip related to this question is that in general, they don’t review discrepancies based on geography and race, and region in the molecular cytogenetics. However, we do see differences in patients who have received prior chemotherapy, radiation therapy, AML therapy for other solid tumors and lymphoma.
These patients, when they transformed what we call secondary AML or MDS, seemed to have a higher predilection for certain high-risk communications such as TP53, and these are best treated with ongoing frontline clinical trials at large academic centers.
What do newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients have for promising treatment options? Dr. Naval Daver from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses progress in available treatments. Learn about therapies determined by key factors.
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Daver: “It’s very important to really consider all the available treatment options and if needed to seek consultation with an expert or academic center to get the most up-to-date treatments available for AML.“
Dr. Daver, for newly diagnosed AML patients, what are the latest and most promising available therapies?
For newly diagnosed AML at this time, the most promising agents include targeted therapies and BCL-2 inhibitor treatments, these are non-chemotherapeutic drugs, and we’ve seen great progress in the application of these as well as recent FDA approvals.
So one of these is an agent called venetoclax (Venclexta), which is a BCL-2 inhibitor and venetoclax in combination with hypomethylating agents such as azacitidine (Onureg or Vidaza) has shown a response to close to 75 percent.
And the nice thing is that this regimen can be given and patients who are older than 70, 75 years of age, and even those who are having comorbidities are not fit for traditional intensive chemotherapy with similar response rates, so this has been approved in the last couple of years for the frontline treatment of AML, and we’ve been using this combination of venetoclax and azacitidine quite frequently with high efficacy in this patient population, the other new agents that have shown breakthroughs in AML are the targeted therapies, these include FLT3 inhibitors that target the FLT3 mutation and these have shown good activity, but the single agents with gilteritinib (Xospata) being approved in the relapsed refractory setting as a single agent where gilteritinib showed a response rate of about 50 percent as a single oral targeted therapy in relapsed FLT3-mutated AML, which is actually better than the response rate with high-dose combination more where the response rate is only about 25 to 30 percent.
So, gilteritinib is now approved, and it’s now moving and being evaluated in frontline setting other FLT3 inhibitors like lestaurtinib (CEP-701), actually just recently completed frontline studies showing improved outcome when lestaurtinib added to intensive chemo versus just intensive chemo in FLT3 in AML. And we hope and think there’s a good chance lestaurtinib will be approved in the near future.
And also IDH inhibitors have been approved both in the relapsed setting, frontline setting, and now we even have a third group of targeted therapy is called the menin inhibitors, they target MLL rearrangement and NPM1 mutations, which are seen in about 15 percent to 20 percent of the AML, so there’s been a lot of progress.
All of this in the last seven years, six, seven years with multiple targeted therapies, with multiple inhibitor-based treatments, showing progress in AML and then also recently, the concept of maintenance therapy, this is something we used for the last couple of decades in a acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma and in lymphoma.
But we had not had clear data in AML, but the recent study using oral formulation of a azacitidine in CC486 has shown the maintenance in patients who complete an induction consolidation and could not go to allogeneic stem cell transplant for one reason or the other was important and improve both overall survival and relapse-free survival, and so this is the first time now we have an FDA-approved and standard use of maintenance therapy after the traditional induction consolidation, so even changing the general paradigm of AML therapy.
So a lot has changed in the last seven to eight years in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, and this is very exciting.
And the activation tip related, this question is that there are multiple new targeted and low intensity therapeutic options available for patients with acute myeloid leukemia, and in our institution, in my opinion, even older patients are eligible for some form of therapy or the other…very few patients, if any, today, are being sent to hospitals or palliative care without treatment.
So it’s very important to really consider all the available treatment options and if needed to seek consultation with an expert or academic center to get the most up-to-date treatments available for AML.
Some acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients may have an FLT3 mutation. Dr. Catherine Lai from Penn Medicine shares insight about the two types of FLT3 mutation, treatment options for FLT3-mutated AML, and progress in research
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Lai: “Ask your oncologist, if your FLT3 mutation testing was done, ask which type of mutation they have, if it’s the ITD or TKD, if they are FLT3-positive and what the drug options are available for them.”
Dr. Lai, what is FLT3 mutated AML and what treatment options do patients with FLT3 AML have?
Dr. Catherine Lai:
Yeah, so FLT3, FLT3 mutations occur in about 25 percent to 30 percent of patients. There are two different types of FLT3 mutations. There’s a FLT3, the ITD mutation and the FLT3, the TKD mutation. They just are there, different parts of the mutation on different parts of the cell, and so how I think about that is, if you think of a leukemia cell and each leukemias has a different color-coded flag, and so the FLT3 mutation I think of is just having a specific color coding, and while a FLT3 mutation in general does predict for a worse prognosis for patients, we do have targeted treatments. In a newly diagnosed setting, we have midostaurin (Rydapt), which is added to intensive chemotherapy for those fit enough to tolerate it.
And in the relapsed refractory setting, we have a medication called gilteritinib (Xospata), which is given as a single agent, so a chemo pill, and that was compared to all types of chemotherapy, both intensive and low intensive chemotherapy, and that pill alone and the refractory and relapsed setting was better than either of the chemotherapies alone, so we’ve made a lot of progress for the FLT3-mutated patients to the majority of those patients end up going to transplant if possible, and so there are studies that are looking at FLT3 inhibitors in the post-transplant setting to also help improve long-term survival and overall survival. So the activation tip from that standpoint, that is to ask your oncologist, if your FLT3 mutation testing was done, ask which type of mutation they have, if it’s the ITD or TKD, if they are FLT3-positive and what the drug options are available for them.
What are the latest treatments in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)? Dr. Catherine Lai from Penn Medicine discusses the increase in available AML treatments. Learn about combination therapies and treatment options for patients with IDH1, IDH2, and FLT3 mutations.
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Lai: “Ask your physician and your oncologist when you’re talking with them about what all the newest therapies are and what would be specifically the best treatment for their specific leukemia with respect to the different mutations.”
Dr. Lai, for newly diagnosed AML patients, what are the latest available therapies?
Dr. Catherine Lai:
That’s a great question. The last, I would say, a handful of years have really seen a dramatic increase in the number of new treatment options for AML patients, specifically since 2017, the FDA has approved 10 new drugs for AML, that’s both for patients who are newly diagnosed and in the relapsed refractory setting.
And so what I would say is that we break our patients into two different categories in terms of being able to tolerate intensive chemotherapy versus non-intensive chemotherapy, and as well as looking at specifically targeted mutations that patients may have so that we can better understand the disease but also treat these patients more specifically to try to maximize efficacy while minimizing toxicity.
And so specifically, I would say for patients who have FLT3 mutations, there are drugs such as midostaurin (Rydapt) and gilteritinib (Xospata), there are drugs for mutations in IDH1 and IDH2, enasidenib (Idhifa) and ivosidenib (Tibsovo) and recently, or in December of 2022, olutasidenib (Rezlidhia) was also approved for IDH1-mutated patients as well.
We have a general targeted agent that’s an oral chemotherapy that probably has made the biggest difference in how we treat patients called venetoclax (Venclexta), and that’s used in combination with azacitidine (Onureg) or decitabine (Dacogen), or low dose cytarabine (Cytosar).
Although most commonly in the United States, we use azacitidine or decitabine in combination with the venetoclax, and that I think is really what I’d say has been practice changing for the most part, in terms of both increasing the complete remission rates as well as the overall survival for these patients. So I would say there are a lot of new drugs. It is all very exciting.
The biggest activation tip in terms of takeaways is to ask your physician and your oncologist when you’re talking with them about what all the newest therapies are and what would be specifically the best treatment for their specific leukemia with respect to the different mutations.
Okay. Dr. Lai, what are the latest approaches to combination chemotherapy to treat AML?
Dr. Catherine Lai:
So, the latest approaches for combination chemotherapy would be in the combination of a hypomethylating agent, azacitidine or decitabine in combination with venetoclax. This is the most practice-changing combination that has been approved since 2017 to 2018, and now more recently, what’s been happening is now looking, so we call that a doublet, and now it’s been looking at…what we’ve been studying is now whether or not triplets are more effective, when we do have triple combinations, we do see an increase in toxicity and so on, we haven’t come up with the right algorithm in terms of what that exact formula should be, but often I think about it in kind of a three-fold in terms of wins the right time, what’s the right combination, and how do we see in the drugs, and I think the sequencing is the biggest thing that we don’t yet know, and how do we combine the two different..two different drugs in a way, and how do we give them in a way that will maximize efficacy, will minimize the toxicity, so as an example is, Do we give two drugs for a specific period of time, and then after some determined time point, do we…
And change it to a different set of combination of drugs to make sure that patients are getting the most benefit of the drugs, and we don’t know that yet, but I think that that’s where the general direction…where the landscape is heading, so the activation tip I would take home from this is just to have a conversation with your physician about potential clinical trials and how combination therapies are being used.