My myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina, made a presentation about a clinical trial involving panobinostat yesterday.
I can’t leave here without giving her a “shout-out!” Well done, doctor!
Among a group of patients who were refractory to Velcade, 31% responded once panobinostat was added to the Velcade/dex mix in this Phase II study. I thought that was pretty impressive!
Still, clinicians don’t really seem to know what to do with panobinostat yet. It is clear that it doesn’t work well enough alone–so it is a lot like vorinostat in that regard.
But it does seem to work in combination better than vorinostat. Probably another bit player that will give myeloma docs another tool for their anti-myeloma tool box, using it combination like they use Doxil or Cytoxan now.
I didn’t have chance to speak to her after the presentation. But next time I see her I will ask her opinions about how and when panobinostat might be used.
Hematalogy is usually stuck in the back-of-the-bus here at ASCO, so Monday is always the biggest day. Remember, myeloma may not be considered a “rare” cancer, but there aren’t enough new cases each year to enable it to make much mainstream media news. That’s reserved for breast, lung, prostate and skin cancers.
And that’s exactly what happened at yesterday afternoon’s press conference. Breast cancer? Check. Melanoma? Check. Prostate cancer? Check. The big three new makers here. Partially because so many new patients are diagnosed with them each year (melanoma and prostate). Or the PR machine keeps running overtime (breast cancer). And partially because there are so many patients involved that researchers get lots of money to help find new, newsworthy therapies. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, don’t you think?
But that’s OK! We still benefit. For example, recent breakthrough in breast cancer immunotherapy could well help myeloma researchers save time and money as they push hard to help us.
Bottom line: Most myeloma related news is breaking on the last day, today. But sorry–probably no cures among this bunch.
Still, several of these trials feature significant results that are “feature worthy” and takes some time to put together. I will share all periodically over the next week or so.
So time to get to work! Next session starts–Oops! Already started!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat