Individualized Treatments for Multiple Myeloma Possible

This is because of novel drugs, better understanding of disease biology

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- New drugs with novel mechanisms of action and a better understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma will lead to more individualized treatments for the disease, according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jesus San-Miguel, M.D., Ph.D., of Hospital Universitario de Salamanca in Spain and colleagues reviewed the drugs currently available to treat multiple myeloma and discussed individualized treatment approaches based on patient characteristics (standard- and high-risk transplantation candidates and the elderly).

For newly diagnosed standard-risk transplantation candidates, the researchers recommend induction treatments with novel drug combinations followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. Maintenance treatment with thalidomide is justified in patients who do not achieve complete remission, and relapse treatments should consider whether the relapse is early, intermediate or late. A similar approach can be followed in newly diagnosed high-risk transplantation candidates, the researchers note. However, patients with disease progression under induction therapy should be considered at very high risk, and patients with renal failure also require special consideration.

"Future progress in MM (multiple myeloma) will be based on using science to inform the design of the optimal combined treatments, and high throughput assays that can assess the ability of combination therapies to induce death on MM cells, both alone and in the bone marrow microenvironment," the authors conclude.

Several authors report financial relationships to the pharmaceutical industry.

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