Nav: Home

Early treatment may prevent progression to multiple myeloma

December 05, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA - Early intervention with an immunotherapy-based drug combination may prevent progression of high-risk "smoldering" multiple myeloma to the full-blown disease, according to researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The interim results of a phase 2 clinical trial are to be presented at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego on December 5, 2016. According to Irene Ghobrial, MD, first author of the report, the findings represent "a promising starting point for the paradigm shift towards early therapeutic intervention in patients with high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma." Ghobrial is also co-principal investigator of the Center for Prevention of Progression of Blood Cancers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.

The combination of the immunotherapy agent elotuzumab with lenalidomide and dexamethasone was well tolerated, with a low rate of grade 3 or 4 toxicities, the study found.

Individuals are said to have smoldering multiple myeloma if they have evidence of disease in the bone marrow and other pathological signs putting them at risk of developing myeloma, the incurable blood cancer diagnosed in about 30,000 people annually, with 12,650 deaths expected in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society.

Smoldering multiple myeloma patients with high-risk indicators have a 50 percent chance of progressing to symptomatic multiple myeloma within two years. A number of clinical trials are evaluating whether early intervention during the smoldering phase is safe and can prevent myeloma progression.

Ghobrial presented data on 47 of the 50 patients enrolled in the study to date, including 23 patients who completed nine treatment cycles. The drug combination caused tumor shrinkage in 82.6 percent of the latter group of patients, with 34.8 percent complete and very good partial responses.

"Many of these patients are in remission at a median follow-up time of seven months," said Ghobrial. "Some patients have been followed for 23 months, and we haven't seen progression to symptomatic disease in any patient."

"The early results suggest better results than those from a previous trial in which patients received a combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone," said Ghobrial. "While the interim results are very exciting, I think we need a randomized phase 3 trial before we can make [early intervention] the standard of care."
-end-
Senior authors of the report are Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, and Paul Richardson, MD, of Dana-Farber.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

From achieving the first remissions in childhood cancer with chemotherapy in 1948, to developing the very latest new therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world's leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is the only center ranked in the top 4 of U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care.

Dana-Farber sits at the center of a wide range of collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center provides the latest in cancer care for adults; Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for children. The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center unites the cancer research efforts of five Harvard academic medical centers and two graduate schools, while Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provides high quality cancer treatment in communities outside Boston's Longwood Medical Area.

Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique, 50/50 balance between cancer research and care, and much of the Institute's work is dedicated to translating the results of its discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related Multiple Myeloma Articles:

CAR T-Cell therapy sends multiple myeloma into lasting remission
In an early clinical trial, 33 out of 35 (94 percent) patients had clinical remission of multiple myeloma upon receiving a new type of immunotherapy -- chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting B-cell maturation protein or BCMA.
Using a rabbit virus to treat multiple myeloma
Treating multiple myeloma (MM) with myxoma virus (MYXV) eliminated a majority of malignant cells in preclinical studies, report investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and elsewhere in an article published online on Dec.
Inhibition of EZH2 might be new therapy of multiple myeloma
In a study published in the scientific journal Oncotarget, researchers from Uppsala University show how the protein EZH2 affects the development of multiple myeloma, and that inhibition of EZH2 could be used as a new strategy to treat the disease.
Additions to standard multiple myeloma therapy do not appear to yield additional benefit
Trial results being presented today during the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego suggest two therapies that are often added to standard therapy in patients with multiple myeloma do not improve rates of progression-free survival compared with the current standard course of treatment alone.
Early treatment may prevent progression to multiple myeloma
Early intervention with an immunotherapy-based drug combination may prevent progression of high-risk 'smoldering' multiple myeloma to the full-blown disease, according to researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
More Multiple Myeloma News and Multiple Myeloma Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...