Thalidomide-like compound shows early promise against multiple myeloma

December 09, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- A drug similar to thalidomide has been found to be promising with fewer side effects for treating patients with recurrent multiple myeloma, an incurable form of bone marrow cancer, according to early data from a clinical study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.

Paul Richardson, MD, Kenneth Anderson, MD, both of Dana-Farber, and their co-authors will present preliminary safety and effectiveness data from a large multi-center Phase II study of CC-5013 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematologists in Philadelphia (Dec. 9, 10:45 a.m., Room 103). Celgene Corporation manufactures CC-5013, which is also known as Revimid TM.

The drug, an analog of thalidomide, was developed to be more potent than thalidomide, while reducing some of thalidomide's dose limiting side effects. Laboratory studies led by Teru Hideshima, MD, at Dana-Farber have shown that CC-5013 not only kills myeloma cells by triggering their innate self-destruct mechanism but also inhibits the myeloma cells ability to localize and grow in the bone marrow. Moreover, it appears to have anti-angiogenic effects and stimulates the immune system to attack myeloma.

"We are encouraged by the responses seen so far, and the relative tolerability of this convenient orally active agent is a real plus for patients," says Richardson.

A Phase I study led by the same Dana-Farber investigators determined a maximum tolerated dose of the drug. The new study, which began earlier this year, compared two therapeutic regimens: one in which patients took 15 mg. of the drug twice daily for three weeks followed by a week of rest, and one in which patients followed the same schedule but with 30 mg. as a once daily dose. Dexamethasone could be added in patients in whom CC-5013 alone was not proving beneficial as laboratory studies have suggested that the two agents combined have at least additive activity in myeloma.

Preliminary results from the trial show that there is significant anti-myeloma activity with measurable responses in about 50 percent of evaluable patients treated to date. The drug has been well tolerated, with evidence that the daily dosing regimen has fewer side effects than the twice daily schedule, but equal activity.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related Bone Marrow Articles from Brightsurf:

Researchers identify the mechanism behind bone marrow failure in Fanconi anaemia
Researchers at the University of Helsinki and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified the mechanism behind bone marrow failure developing in children that suffer from Fanconi anaemia.

Nanoparticles can turn off genes in bone marrow cells
Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to turn off specific genes in cells of the bone marrow, which play an important role in producing blood cells.

How stress affects bone marrow
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) identified the protein CD86 as a novel marker of infection- and inflammation-induced hematopoietic responses.

3D atlas of the bone marrow -- in single cell resolution
Stem cells located in the bone marrow generate and control the production of blood and immune cells.

Dangerous bone marrow, organ transplant complication explained
Scientists have discovered the molecular mechanism behind how the common cytomegalovirus can wreak havoc on bone marrow and organ transplant patients, according to a paper published in the journal Cell & Host Microbe.

Viagra shows promise for use in bone marrow transplants
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have demonstrated a new, rapid method to obtain donor stem cells for bone marrow transplants using a combination of Viagra and a second drug called Plerixafor.

Bone marrow may be the missing piece of the fertility puzzle
A woman's bone marrow may determine her ability to start and sustain a pregnancy, report Yale researchers in PLOS Biology.

Cells that make bone marrow also travel to the womb to help pregnancy
Bone marrow-derived cells play a role in changes to the mouse uterus before and during pregnancy, enabling implantation of the embryo and reducing pregnancy loss, according to research published Sept.

Uncovering secrets of bone marrow cells and how they differentiate
Researchers mapped distinct bone marrow niche populations and their differentiation paths for the bone marrow factory that starts from mesenchymal stromal cells and ends with three types of cells -- fat cells, bone-making cells and cartilage-making cells.

Zebrafish help researchers explore alternatives to bone marrow donation
UC San Diego researchers discover new role for epidermal growth factor receptor in blood stem cell development, a crucial key to being able to generate them in the laboratory, and circumvent the need for bone marrow donation.

Read More: Bone Marrow News and Bone Marrow Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to