High Risk Multiple Myeloma –  Finally There Is a Hopeful Prognosis!!!

*** Can Success with High Risk Myeloma mean the cure for all myeloma is getting closer? Dr. Sagar Lonial of Emory University discussed High Risk Disease and his teams success at the treatment of this extremely hard to treat form of myeloma on the August Cure Panel Broadcast .  You can listen to the rebroadcast of this exceptional program if you CLICK HERE***

PictureThere is light at the end of the tunnel for high risk Multiple Myeloma

A recent post on Pat Killingworth site discussed the Emory University’s Dr. Sagar Lonial’s views on Stem Cell Transplant.  You can see his post if you CLICK HERE.  However, the item that caught my eye was a comment by one of his readers who quoted some quite remarkable high risk multiple myeloma survival rates. He mentioned  a December, 2013 article in Leukemia which stated the following: 

Consolidation and maintenance therapy with lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (RVD) in high-risk myeloma patients

A K Nooka, J L Kaufman, S Muppidi, A Langston, L T Heffner, C Gleason, D Casbourne, D Saxe, L H Boise and S Lonial

Prior studies have shown that myeloma patients exhibiting either genetically defined high-risk disease or plasma cell leukemia have a poor outcome with a median overall survival (OS) of 3 years. Results of IFM 2005-01 and 02 suggest that relatively limited bortezomib-containing induction regimens did not produce a major survival benefit among these patients. However, results of recent studies suggest that combination therapy may benefit these patients when given early and again later in the treatment. We evaluated a combination maintenance/consolidation regimen (RVD) following autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) for high-risk patients to evaluate the impact of this approach on outcome. Following initiation of RVD maintenance, 51% of patients achieved stringent complete response (sCR), with 96achieving at least VGPR as best response. Median progression free survival (PFS) for all patients is 32 months with a 3-year OS of 93%. The regimen was well tolerated with no grade 3/4 neuropathy. Early ASCT followed by RVD maintenance is a promising strategy for high-risk myeloma patients and delivered excellent response rates, and promising PFS and OS.

Why this has not been a headline story for myeloma everywhere is beyond me, and I am a little embarrassed that it has taken me this long to become aware of this data. The National Cancer Institute lists the average 3 year relative survival of all patients(high and low risk) at 60%, and the 3 year relative survival for the Emory trial of high risk patients is 98.8%.  This is a truly remarkable performance where the subjects in the trial have a 3 year life expectancy nearly equal to the general population at age 70. Thank You Dr. Lonial for such remarkable work.

Good luck and may God Bless your Cancer Journey.   For more information on multiple myeloma survival rates and treatments CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1

About the Author