3-drug combination 'extremely promising' as first-line therapy for multiple myeloma

December 11, 2007

ATLANTA--A new combination of bortezomib (Velcade) and two other drugs is showing a very high response rate in patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a team headed by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

The three-pronged regimen of Velcade, lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone - referred to as Rev/Vel/Dex - has achieved an overall response rate of 98 percent in 42 patients evaluated thus far in a Phase 1-2 trial, said Paul Richardson, MD, of Dana-Farber and the study's principal investigator. He added that 52 percent of the patients had high quality responses (very good partial response or better), with 30 percent achieving complete response to date.

"These may be some of the best response rates we've seen to date with up-front therapies, and although these are preliminary results, they are extremely promising," Richardson said. The patients were previously untreated when they received the Rev/Vel/Dex combination.

Velcade is a "smart" drug known as a proteasome inhibitor that blocks the myeloma cells' waste disposal system, creating an accumulation of toxic compounds that poison the cell. Revlimid is a chemical relative of thalidomide that affects several pathways in cancer cells, including immune mechanisms and blood vessel growth to tumors. Dexamethasone is a steroid hormone that counters inflammation and is used to treat hematologic malignancies such as myeloma. Studies leading to the trial of the three drugs in combination were carried out at Dana-Farber.

While these are the first results from trials of Rev/Vel/Dex given as initial, first-line therapy for the blood cancer, the combination has already been shown effective for multiple myeloma patients who had relapsed following successful treatment or who had not responded to standard therapies.

Richardson also reported at the ASH meeting preliminary data from a Dana-Farber led multicenter Phase 2 trial of the combination in relapsed or refractory myeloma. "These data confirm the favorable side effect profile," said Richardson, "and the response rate of 72 percent - including complete, partial, and minor responses - is very encouraging."

The responses, he added, appear to be holding up well, with a duration of more than one year for some patients to date. Both trials will continue to enroll patients, and final results are expected next year.
-end-
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) 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 Multiple Myeloma Articles from Brightsurf:

Penn Study supports use of radiation before CAR therapy for multiple myeloma
Administering radiation therapy to multiple myeloma patients waiting for CAR T cells to be manufactured was found to be safe and undisruptive to CAR T therapy.

New multiple myeloma therapy shows promise in preclinical study
A new alpha-radioimmunotherapy, 212Pb-anti-CD38, has proven effective in preventing tumor growth and increasing survival in multiple myeloma tumor-bearing mice, according to new research published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

A safer cell therapy harnesses patient T cells to fight multiple myeloma
A treatment for multiple myeloma that harnesses the body's cancer-fighting T cells was safe in humans and showed preliminary signs of effectiveness, according to a clinical trial involving 23 patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant disease.

Colorado tool, My-DST, may pick best multiple myeloma treatment
Response of liquid biopsies to approved drugs can help show resistance, predict response.

Case study: Treating COVID-19 in a patient with multiple myeloma
A case study of a patient in Wuhan, China, suggests that the immunosuppressant tocilizumab may be an effective COVID-19 treatment for very ill patients who also have multiple myeloma and other blood cancers.

New drug could reverse treatment resistance in advanced multiple myeloma
Researchers at the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands have tested a new drug in patient samples and mice with multiple myeloma and discovered that it was effective even in advanced disease -- a point when many patients currently run out of options.

Single gene cluster loss may contribute to initiation/progression of multiple myeloma
The loss of one copy of the miR15a/miR16-1 gene cluster promoted initiation and progression of multiple myeloma in mice.

New CAR-T target yields promising results for multiple myeloma
In research published today in the journal Nature Communications, Utah-based scientists describe a novel way to treat cancers using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

BCMA-targeted immunotherapy can lead to durable responses in multiple myeloma
An experimental, off-the-shelf immunotherapy that combines a targeted antibody and chemotherapy can lead to potentially durable responses in multiple myeloma patients whose disease has relapsed or is resistant to other standard therapies.

Study finds racial disparities in treatment of multiple myeloma patients
Among patients with multiple myeloma, African-Americans and Hispanics start treatment with a novel therapy significantly later than white patients, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.

Read More: Multiple Myeloma News and Multiple Myeloma Current Events
Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.