Pat Killingsworth Pat Killingsworth

Is pomalidomide a wonder drug? Depends how you spin it…

OncologySTAT ran this feature article about pomalidomide last week in their hematology edition.  Here are a few excerpts:

Pomalidomide Elicits Responses When Other Myeloma Regimens Fail

By P. Wendling

SAN DIEGO – The potent, next-generation immunomodulatory inhibitor pomalidomide works in at least one-third of patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma when nothing else does, a series of studies shows…

…The heavily pretreated 221-patient cohort had received a median of five prior regimens… 34% of patients given pomalidomide plus dexamethasone achieved at least a partial response.

Do you know how I keep harping about how important it is not to become refractory to both Revlimid andVelcade?  Better to mix and match and add different drugs to a variety of combo therapies…

Well here’s why:

Among patients refractory to lenalidomide and bortezomib, the use of pomalidomide and dexamethasone increased the median time to progression from 2.0 months with pomalidomide alone to 3.9 months, and median overall survival from 12.7 months to 13.7 months.

OUCH!  One extra month?  I believe the key is to use drugs like pomalidomide sooner rather than later–and you can see why…

CLICK HERE to access the article.

All the news isn’t bad.  I have a friend who is refractory to just about everything, yet pomalidomide has worked like a charm for him for the past six months.

REMEMBER:  YOU/WE ARE NOT STATISTICS!

Also remember that very early studies show pomalidomide works wonderfully when combined with a number of other different novel therapies.

But if you are relying on the stats from San Diego alone, it can look pretty grim if you are a refractory, heavily pre-treated patient.

Tomorrow I will post a commentary about why there is hope–even for such heavily pre-treated patients–along with the rest of us!

So hang in their, myeloma friends and neighbors!  Remember, one day at a time, right?  Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat