3-drug combo found to be promising as first-line therapy for myeloma

December 12th, 2007 - 1:48 pm ICT by admin  

Washington , Dec 12 (ANI): Researchers have reported a very high response rate of a novel combination of bortezomib (Velcade) and two other drugs in patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The research was led by a team headed by Paul Richardson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Richardson said that the three pronged regime of three drugs Velcade, lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone known as Rev/Vel/Dex has accomplished an overall response rate of 98 pct in 42 patients evaluated thus far in a Phase 1-2 trial.

He added that high quality responses were seen in 52 pct of patients with 30pct pulling off complete response to date.

These may be some of the best response rates weve seen to date with up-front therapies, and although these are preliminary results, they are extremely promising, said Richardson .

At the time of receiving the Rev/Vel/Dex combination, the patients were previously untreated.

Velcade, also called proteasome inhibitor, is a smart drug that works by blocking myeloma cells waste disposal system,leading to an accumulation of toxic compounds that poison the cell.

Revlimid is a chemical relative of thalidomide that works by affecting several pathways in cancer cells, including immune mechanisms and blood vessel growth to tumors.

Dexamethasone is a steroid hormone that counters inflammation and utilosed in treating hematologic malignancies such as myeloma.

Researchers carried out the studies leading to the trial of these three drugs in combination at Dana-Farber.

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

A preliminary data from a Dana-Farber led multicenter Phase 2 trial of the combination in relapsed or refractory myeloma was also reported at the ASH meeting.

These data confirm the favorable side effect profile, said Richardson , and the response rate of 72 pct including complete, partial, and minor responses is very encouraging, said Richarson.

He added that the responses showed promising results, for 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. (ANI)

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