Module 2: Luspatercept Dose Modification and Emerging Agents

Primary Audience:

This activity is intended to meet the educational needs of hematology-oncology clinicians.

Relevant Terms:

Myelodysplastic Syndrome

This module covers the treatment of anemia in MDS with a focus on luspatercept.

Amy DeZern, MD, MHS

Director, Bone Marrow Failure and MDS Program
Associate Professor of Oncology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Amy DeZern is an Associate Professor of Oncology and Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She is active in the Division of Hematology Malignancies, Leukemia Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. DeZern has expertise in aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, acute myeloid leukemia, and bone marrow transplantation. She  received her medical degree at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, followed by fellowships in medical oncology and hematology, as well as obtained a Masters in Clinical Investigations at the Bloomberg School of Pubic health. She is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Dr. DeZern’s principle research activities consist of designing and conducting clinical trials that test investigational new therapies and approaches in the treatment of bone marrow failure (aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes). She has specific expertise in the use of alternative donor bone marrow transplantation in patients with severe aplastic anemia and trials of novel therapeutics for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.  Additionally, she has taken a rigorous approach to the study of diagnostics and supportive case (such as transfusion practices) in these patient populations.  She is or has been the Principal Investigator for a number of multicenter trials in collaboration with the MDS Clinical Research Consortium, the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (ECOG)-ACRIN and now the Bone Marrow Trials Clinical Trials Network (BMTCTN).   She is the Study Chair for the multi-site BMTCTN study (CHAMP) investigating the role of haploidentical donor transplantation using post-transplantation cyclophosphamide in patients with relapsed several aplastic anemia. Dr. DeZern is the local PI as well as the Deputy Chair for The National MDS Study, a collaborative natural history study of the NHLBI and the NCI.  As a clinical investigator with a focus on translation of novel treatments to the clinic, Dr. DeZern’s goal is to improve outcomes for patients with bone marrow failure at the bedside and in her research environment. 

Maximilian Stahl, MD

Instructor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Physician, Medical Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Cancer Center
Boston, MA

Dr. Stahl conducts clinical and translational research in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). 

In his clinical research, he evaluates outcomes achieved with novel therapeutic approaches for AML, MDS and MPNs with a focus on identifying molecular predictors of these outcomes. For example, he has examined the effectiveness of hypomethylating agents (HMA) in AML (Blood Advances 2018) and MDS (Cancer 2017 and Blood 2018), immunosuppressive therapy in MDS (Blood Advances 2018 and Haematologica 2020), interferon therapy in MPNs (Leukemia 2020 and Clin Lymphoma, Myeloma, Leukemia 2020) and leukapheresis in hyperleukocytosis (Leukemia 2020 and Transfusion 2020). I have also studied molecular predictors of response to the bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax in AML (Blood Advances 2021).

In addition, he has in interest in translational research with the goal to bring basic scientific discoveries from the laboratory bench to the clinic in order to benefit leukemia patients. Towards this goal, he conducts early phase clinical trials testing novel treatment approaches for patients with AML, MDS and MPNs.

Optimally titrate luspatercept to help ensure treatment success.