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ASCO 2023: Dr. Swoboda’s Work on Genetic Sequencing, Macrophages and BCL-2 Inhibitors for AML at Tampa General
Posted: Jun 26, 2023
ASCO 2023: Dr. Swoboda’s Work on Genetic Sequencing, Macrophages and BCL-2 Inhibitors for AML at Tampa General  image

Dr. David Swoboda, an AML expert from Tampa General Hospital, discusses several projects he is working on at his facility that aim to improve the way AML is treated. 

Watch His Interview Here

Video Summary

Dr. Swoboda is utilizing his facility's tissue biorepository for AML research purposes. Currently the genetics of AML are determined by targeted base sequencing. At Tampa General, in collaboration with various companies, researchers are trying to look at broadening the ability to analyze the genetics of AML by performing whole exome and whole transcriptome sequencing. This type of analysis improves upon the standard testing which only looks at a specific set amount of mutations that are present in AML. Whole exome sequencing would allow more mutations to be found in a patient, and provide further therapeutic treatment options once more targeted drugs are developed.  

Dr. Swoboda is also working in collaboration with this team at Tampa General to offer new clinical trials to AML patients. 

One of these trials is exploring the macrophage checkpoint pathway. Currently, immune therapy typically utilizes T-cells and checkpoint inhibitors. There is a big push to look at additional immune cells in cancer to see if other options are more effective. Specifically in AML, one of the areas that researchers have seen promise in so far are macrophages. Macrophage checkpoint inhibitors turn off a switch that down regulates macrophages and allows these immune cells to eat cancer cells. There are many macrophage checkpoint inhibitors in the late stages of development, but one of the more commonly known drugs is called magrolimab. The other macrophage checkpoint inhibitors in development aim to improve upon the known side effects of magrolimab, and aim to be more effective in fighting AML. The trial at Tampa General is utilizing a new type of macrophage checkpoint inhibitor called maplirpacept in combination with azacitidine and venetoclax. It’s Dr. Swoboda’s hope that this new drug combination will be more effective than magrolimab with less side effects. You can learn more about this open clinical trial here

Additionally, another interesting trial Dr. Swoboda is involved in at Tampa General is a trial looking at BCL-2, another pathway being utilized across many different cancer types. Venetoclax is the most widely known BCL-2 inhibitor. In AML, venetoclax combined with azacitidine is the most commonly utilized treatment for elderly patients who cannot undergo a stem cell transplant. The trial is looking at a second generation BCL-2 inhibitor called BGB-11417 to see if this drug is better than venetoclax at treating AML more effectively with less side effects. You can learn more about this open clinical trial here

The author Katie Braswell

about the author
Katie Braswell

Katie joined HealthTree as the Community Director for AML in 2021. She is a registered dietitian who previously worked at the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas where she coached veterans with blood cancer on how to use nutrition to improve their treatment outcomes and minimize cancer-related side effects. Katie is passionate about health education and patient empowerment. In her spare time, she loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen, spend time running outdoors and travel to new places.

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