In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of lenalidomide/dexamethasone (Revlimid/Dexasone) combination treatment in relapsed multiple myeloma. The main finding was that the type of relapse may predict how a patient responds to lenalidomide/dexamethasone treatment.
Common treatments for multiple myeloma (MM) include bortezomib (Velcade) (anticancer drug specifically for MM) and immunomodulators (drugs which enable the immune system to attack cancer cells). These therapies are effective for many patients. However some patients may lose response over time (relapse).
Relapse may be biochemical or clinical. A biochemical relapse means that the cancer has come back but there are no symptoms. A clinical relapse means that the cancer has come back and there are symptoms. Many patients who relapse are treated with lenalidomide /dexamethasone (Len/Dex). Len/Dex is a combination of chemotherapies. It is important the investigate the effects of Len/Dex in relapsed MM.
Methods & findings
Two hundred and fifteen patients with multiple myeloma were included in this study. Sixty percent were treated with bortezomib and about 35% were treated with immunomodulators. Patients who relapsed were then treated with Len/Dex.
On average nearly 74% of patients responded to these therapies. The best response was generally shown after 6.7 months of treatment. On average, patients were treated for 19 months without the cancer getting worse. Almost 68% of patients had biochemical relapse before Len/Dex treatment. Thirty-six percent of patients had clinical relapse before Len/Dex treatment. Patients treated with Len/Dex after biochemical relapse were treated for 24 months on average without cancer worsening. Those with clinical relapse were treated for an average of 13.2 months without disease worsening.
The bottom line
This study suggested that Len/Dex is more effective for MM patients with biochemical relapse than clinical relapse.
The fine print
This study included patients from Greece only. Therefore the results may not apply to patients elsewhere.
If you have questions about MM treatment, please consult your doctor.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Sep 01, 2018
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