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ASH 2023: Expanding AML Remissions with HMA's and Venetoclax
Posted: Jan 11, 2024
ASH 2023: Expanding AML Remissions with HMA's and Venetoclax image

Dr. Tapan Kadia from the MD Anderson Cancer Center stopped by to tell us about some of the exciting research he is working on. Read below to learn about his exciting work or watch the video to hear it from Dr. Kadia himself. 

Maintenance Therapy

Oral azacitidine has recently been approved for use as maintenance therapy for AML patients. Maintenance therapy is ongoing medication given to patients after their cancer has responded positively to cancer treatment. Azacitidine has been shown to improve survival in patients who reach remission, but do not qualify for stem cell transplant. With that success in mind, Dr. Kadia and his team are researching two different ways to increase the efficacy of maintenance therapy to extend remission for AML patients. 

Azacitidine and Venetoclax

In their first study, they looked at using azacitidine and venetoclax as maintenance therapy. Overall, they saw positive results in patients in remission. The combination of azacitidine and venetoclax was well tolerated by patients and delivered in lower doses than what newly diagnosed patients are typically given in the course of their treatment. They saw the combination as particularly effective in patients with the IDH1, IDH2 and NPM1 mutations. 

Oral Decitabine Combination

In their second study, they used oral decitabine in combination with another agent as maintenance therapy in an effort to extend remission. This combination therapy is more nuanced as the other agent used in combination with decitabine is determined by the patient's genetic profile:

  • IDH1 mutated - decitabine and ivosidenib
  • IDH2 mutated - decitabine and enasidenib 
  • FLT3 mutated - decitabine and gilteritinib
  • Other mutations: decitabine alone or decitabine and venetoclax

This study is showing positive early results. Patients are finding the regimen tolerable and so far very few patients have experienced a relapse.


Dr. Kadia and his team at MD Anderson are exploring methods of maintenance therapy with the goal of extending remission in patients who do not qualify for a stem cell transplant. So far, both studies Dr. Kadia shared with us are showing positive results with patients seeing longer remissions. We will excitedly continue to follow these studies and report on updates as further results are shared. 

HealthTree CureHub

At HealthTree, we believe that patients are powerful and have an opportunity to contribute to research in an incredibly unique way. HealthTree Cure Hub empowers patients with the knowledge to actively participate in their health journeys while providing researchers with valuable insights from real-world experiences. Cure Hub connects patients and researchers to not only accelerate the development of innovative treatments but also lays the foundation for a future where more educated patients and research leads to more effective and personalized cures.

Visit Cure Hub today to become an active participant in your care and contribute your unique experience to researchers to move closer to a cure. 

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The author Mary Arnett

about the author
Mary Arnett

Mary joined HealthTree in 2022. She works as the AML/MDS Community & Education Manager. She is passionate about giving power to patients through knowledge and health education. If she can help one patient feel more confident participating in discussions with their healthcare team and making treatment decisions, she will feel like she has succeeded. When she isn't working, she loves being an aunt, attending concerts, and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.

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