What’s Next in Regard to Advances in Treating Hematologic Malignancies?


Gunther Koehne, MD, PhD, discusses his hopes for future advances for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Gunther Koehne, MD, PhD, director of the Summit of the Americas on Immunotherapies for Hematologic Malignancies, and deputy director and chief of Blood & Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Oncology at Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health South Florida, discusses his hopes for future advances for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Koehne explains that over the past decade, there have been advances in the field for patients with difficult-to-treat hematologic malignancies, including new techniques, adjusted regimens, and better outcomes for patients. For patients with relapsed disease, available options for treatment include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells, bispecific antibodies, immunotherapeutic approaches, antibody conjugates, chemotherapy-free inductions, multi-drug combinations, and more.

However, new therapies continue to bring their own complications to the space. Because of this, Koehne notes that the next advancements in this space should will hopefully lead to combination, sequencing of therapies, and ways to replace chemotherapy with immunotherapies or targeted therapies.


0:08 | It is relatively safe to say that the movement goes towards more targeted therapy in hematologic malignancies and immunotherapies, which also includes reduction of high doses of chemotherapy. The future will lead to combination therapies or sequencing of therapies, where chemotherapy will likely more and more be eliminated and replaced by immunotherapies or targeted therapies.

0:36 | That has many advantages. Without knowing at this point whether or not the duration of the remission, or the possibility of cure will be the same, there's a good chance because that's what the immune system is built for to begin with. It is already clear that with replacement of chemotherapy with immunotherapeutic drugs, the side effect profile will come down and has come down significantly. Even if the quality of life is the only factor that improves, that would be a big win.

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