In a nutshell
This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of ixazomib (Ninlaro) given after a stem cell transplant for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). This study concluded that ixazomib maintenance therapy is effective for these patients, with manageable side effects.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the bone marrow that can lead to abnormal immune cells. High-dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant is a key part of treatment for patients with MM. Previous studies have suggested that maintenance therapy after the transplant may improve patient outcomes.
Maintenance therapy is a low-dose treatment given over a long period of time. The goal of this therapy is to help keep the cancer from coming back. Ixazomib specifically targets cancer cells and blocks their growth. This leads to cancer cell death. Whether ixazomib is a safe and effective maintenance therapy for patients with MM remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 656 patients with newly diagnosed MM. All patients had a stem cell transplant. 395 patients then received ixazomib maintenance. 261 patients received a placebo (a substance with no active effect). Patients were followed-up for an average of 31 months.
Patients in the ixazomib group lived significantly longer without tumor growth or spread compared to the placebo group (26.5 months vs. 21.3 months). Ixazomib treatment was significantly associated with a 28% lower risk of tumor growth or spread.
On average, patients in the ixazomib group experienced cancer recurrence at an average of 26.6 months after treatment compared to the placebo group (21.4 months).
Overall, more patients in the ixazomib group had side effects compared to the placebo group (97% vs. 93%). Infections were the most common side effect (74% vs. 64%). Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet was also reported (19% vs. 15%). Significantly more patients in the ixazomib group experienced serious side effects (27% vs. 20%).
The bottom line
This study concluded that ixazomib maintenance improves survival without tumor growth or spread for patients with newly diagnosed MM. The authors suggest that ixazomib may be an alternative to lenalidomide (Revlimid) maintenance therapy.
The fine print
This study received financial support from Millennium Pharmaceuticals. This company is owned by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, who is the manufacturer of ixazomib.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
Dec 10, 2018
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