High response rates seen in phase-III trial of chemotherapy, new drug and stem cells in myeloma

October 12, 2010, European Society for Medical Oncology

The first study of its kind comparing two different approaches to treating newly diagnosed multiple myeloma has found that both treatments achieved a positive response, researchers said at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy.

Dr Antonio Palumbo from Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Giovanni Battista of Torino in Italy and colleagues tested the two approaches for using the drug in a Phase-III trial of 402 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

All patients were first administered an induction regimen of the new drug with low-dose dexamethasone. Next they were randomly assigned to one of two consolidation treatments.

The first group of 202 patients received conventional treatment with a combination of melphalan and prednisone, plus lenalidomide. The second group of 200 were given high-dose melphalan plus autologous transplants of their own .

After the induction treatment, 83% of patients saw a partial response, meaning the level of paraprotein in their blood had dropped by half. Very good partial response (90% reduction in paraprotein) was seen in 34% of patients, and 6% saw a complete response, meaning there was no detectable paraprotein in their blood.

After the consolidation treatment with melphalan, and lenalidomide, the very good partial response rate was 56%, and the complete response rate was 14%. After high-dose melphalan plus stem cell transplant, very good partial responses were seen 52% of patients, and complete responses in 25%.

"We are actually pleased with these results, since both treatments improved the quality of response achieved with the induction regimen of lenalidomide and ," said Dr Palumbo. "However we need a longer follow-up to assess the impact of this finding on both progression-free survival and overall survival."

"This is the first study that compares high-dose chemotherapy with hemopoietic stem-cell support against conventional-dose chemotherapy plus new drugs, and we are pleased to see that with the actual follow-up there was no difference in response between the two arms of the study."

Commented Professor Martin Dreyling, of Munich University Clinic: "Provided that a longer follow-up confirms the preliminary data on progression-free and overall survival, this ground-breaking study will potentially change the standard of care in younger patients with . Thus, molecular targeted approaches may finally overcome the current approach based on high-dose chemotherapy and subsequent autologous transplantation."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cancer comes back all jacked up on stem cells

March 19, 2018
After a biopsy or surgery, doctors often get a molecular snapshot of a patient's tumor. This snapshot is important - knowing the genetics that cause a cancer can help match a patient with a genetically-targeted treatment. ...

A small, daily dose of Viagra may reduce colorectal cancer risk

March 19, 2018
A small, daily dose of Viagra significantly reduces colorectal cancer risk in an animal model that is genetically predetermined to have the third leading cause of cancer death, scientists report.

Researchers create a drug to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer

March 16, 2018
Fifteen years ago, Michael Jung was already an eminent scientist when his wife asked him a question that would change his career, and extend the lives of many men with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer.

Machine-learning algorithm used to identify specific types of brain tumors

March 15, 2018
An international team of researchers has used methylation fingerprinting data as input to a machine-learning algorithm to identify different types of brain tumors. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team ...

Higher doses of radiation don't improve survival in prostate cancer

March 15, 2018
A new study shows that higher doses of radiation do not improve survival for many patients with prostate cancer, compared with the standard radiation treatment. The analysis, which included 104 radiation therapy oncology ...

Joint supplement speeds melanoma cell growth

March 15, 2018
Chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement taken to strengthen joints, can speed the growth of a type of melanoma, according to experiments conducted in cell culture and mouse models.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.