Preface – ASH 2023

© private – Moritz Fürstenau, MD, German CLL Study Group, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

© private – Moritz Fürstenau, MD, German CLL Study Group, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Dear Colleagues,

The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) took place as a hybrid event that hosted participants both online and on-site in San Diego, California, USA. Among the multitude of updates and new insights presented from December 9th to 12th, 2023, attendees had access to thousands of scientific abstracts high­lighting cutting-edge research in hematology. In this issue of memo inHaematology, you are invited to explore the forefront of hematologic oncology, focusing on the latest advancements and therapeutic strategies in ­the treatment of various B-cell malignancies.

In mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), several targeted, chemotherapy-free combinations have demonstrated promising efficacy in patients with relapsed/refractory disease, including ibrutinib plus venetoclax and mosunetuzumab plus polatuzumab vedotin. The highly selective, non-covalent BTK inhibitor pirtobrutinib was proposed as a new standard of care for patients with MCL after prior covalent BTK inhibitor treatment. In the setting of TP53-mutant MCL, the BOVen triplet, i.e., zanubrutinib, obinutuzumab and venetoclax, has emerged as a promising treatment option.

Subsequently, the focus shifts to Waldenström macroglobulinemia, and data on outcome optimization in both the first and subsequent lines of treatment are summarized. The following chapter highlights strategies to improve responses and overcome resistance in multiple myeloma such as the addition of anti-CD38 antibodies to established combination regimens. The novel Bcl-2 inhibitor sonrotoclax is being evaluated in various B-cell malignancies, with multiple myeloma being one of them.

Moreover, trial evidence obtained with bispecific antibodies and BTK inhibitors is outlined in the context of newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma, offering insights into how these approaches are reshaping therapeutic landscapes. The results reported in this issue support the further development of agents such as odronextamab and epcoritamab.

A special focus is drawn to updated findings in CLL where the combination of ibrutinib and venetoclax is widely investigated, as well as the second-generation BTK inhibitors zanubrutinib and acalabrutinib as monotherapies and combination partners, among others. MRD-guided strategies such as the one used in the CLL2-BAAG study are considered valuable as they can help to ensure the suitable amount of treatment in the individual patient.

Potential advances are further described in the setting of diffuse large B-cell ­lymphoma (DLBCL). For decades, the CHOP regimen has been the first-line standard of care for patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL. Data on promising chemotherapy-free approaches in the untreated and pretreated settings are summarized in chapter six.

Finally, this issue concludes with a discussion of innovative agents in marginal zone lymphoma and other B-cell malignancies, highlighting the continued search for more effective and less harmful treatment modalities.

Whether you are seeking to update your knowledge on current practices or looking for inspiration for future research, this issue offers a wealth of information on the cutting edge of B-cell malignancy treatment.

Happy reading!

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