Articles tagged with: Physician Column
Last year, 2013, was a great year for myeloma research.
We had a number of important discoveries that will impact diagnosis, monitoring, prognosis, and treatment of the disease. Some new findings provide us with a better understanding of myeloma biology and mechanisms of drug resistance, while others present information that immediately impacts how patients are managed.
Collectively, these discoveries represent a significant advance towards our goal of curing myeloma.
I present here my list of the top 10 most compelling scientific findings and discoveries of 2013 in the field of …
Over the last year or two, I have seen an increasing number of patients with multiple myeloma who are deeply worried that they have “failed” treatment because they are not in “complete response” (CR). This phenomenon is gaining further steam with recent interest in “minimal residual disease” (MRD).
In fact, with numerous educational programs, daily emails, and ubiquitous lectures touting a new regimen with even higher complete response rates, I am now almost as worried as them. Of course, the cause of my worry is not that patients have not …
Within the past nine months, two new agents have been approved for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma.
In July 2012, a second generation proteasome inhibitor, Kyprolis (carfilzomib), was approved for patients with relapsed/refractory disease. In February of this year, Pomalyst (pomalidomide) was approved for use in similar patients.
These two agents, with dexamethasone (Decadron) or in combination with other drugs, should further broaden the armamentarium for the treatment of myeloma as we continue to strive to make myeloma a chronic disease.
Rather than …
Currently, there are three major controversies in multiple myeloma patient management: early versus late transplant, treat or observe ‘high-risk’ smoldering myeloma, and whether to use maintenance therapy. The latter is predominantly an issue following autologous stem cell transplantation.
In May, one of the world’s premier medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, published three articles about clinical trials comparing Revlimid (lenalidomide) maintenance versus observation. In two of the studies, Revlimid maintenance was given following autologous stem cell transplantation. In the third study, Revlimid maintenance was given following conventional …
One of the most difficult questions in oncology is: “How long do I have to live?”
Patients often bring this up to their physicians following a diagnosis of cancer, and periodically during the course of their disease.
Of course, this is an impossible question to answer because we as physicians can seldom predict what the future holds for a particular patient. We can probably estimate averages, but no patient is average; everyone is unique. Faced with this dilemma, each physician responds differently. Some provide the averages, some don’t.
Nevertheless, it …