Studies presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology suggest that patients with multiple myeloma (MM), lymphoma, and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) may have new treatment options in the future that offer outcomes superior to current therapies when used individually or in combination with current therapies. Some of the products described in this article are supported by pivotal or phase 2b data, whereas others are only in early-phase testing and are included because experts consider them so promising, as was emphasized at the meeting.
Advances in treatment have helped to achieve levels of response and durations of remission in multiple myeloma (MM) that were previously not achievable with standard approaches. As a result, patients with MM are living significantly longer than a decade ago. Drugs that have made such a difference include thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide, which are used in various combinations together and with other conventional agents, such as dexamethasone.
According to 2 studies presented at ASH 2010, the use of zoledronic acid (ZA) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) to prevent bone complications was superior to some, but not all, bisphosphonates in improving overall survival (OS), and the drug was cost-effective compared with clodronate.
Young patients with multiple myeloma (MM) often receive high-dose therapy with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). Residual disease inevitably leads to relapse, and a research aim has been to determine ways to prevent this. In 2 phase 3 studies, maintenance therapy with lenalidomide resulted in a doubling of the time to disease progression.
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