Three studies point to effectiveness of new therapies for multiple myeloma

December 07, 2015

ORLANDO, FL -- In a trio of studies to be presented at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will present the results of clinical trials showing that new drug combinations can significantly extend the time in which multiple myeloma is kept in check in patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant forms of the disease.

The trials pair the oral drugs lenalidomide and dexamethasone with other agents, each of which exploits a different vulnerability in tumor cells. The various combinations are at different stages of clinical testing, but all are proving effective at producing at least partial remissions and increasing the duration of those remissions, with tolerable side effects for most patients.

"With the recent approvals of daratumumab, ixazomib, and now elotuzumab, we have seen an unprecedented pace of progress in myeloma therapy this year. The results from these studies reflect the real benefits our patients can anticipate from these very important advances in currently available treatment," said Paul Richardson, clinical program leader and director of clinical research at Dana-Farber's Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center.

All of the patients in the three trials had myeloma that had either relapsed or become resistant to other therapies. Patients received a tandem of lenalidomide, a drug that kills tumor cells, blocks blood vessel growth, and acts on the immune system, and dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory agent, plus one of three new agents:

"In summary, these encouraging data build upon the real success of our translational efforts in myeloma over the last decade, and provide exciting new options with the real promise of improving patient outcome," said Richardson, who is also the R.J. Corman professor at Harvard Medical School.

For a full list of co-authors and their affiliated institutions for each of the abstracts, please visit http://www.hematology.org/Annual-Meeting/Abstracts/.
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About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

From achieving the first remissions in 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 in Boston, and around the world.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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