I mentioned melphalan as an option for older multiple myeloma patients in yesterdays post. When used in high doses, melphalan is the most common drug used to kill a patient’s bone marrow prior to a stem cell transplant. But it has also been used as a maintenance therapy drug against myeloma for decades. It is contraindicated for use in younger myeloma patients, prior to stem cell harvest for obvious reasons–it is hard on bone marrow and the stem cells created there. Melphalan also isn’t a new or “sexy” treatment option anymore. But oncology docs shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss melphalan as a treatment option. A Spanish study presented at the ASH conference in December revealed melphalan is a more effective partner to Velcade than Thalomid, both as a induction and maintenance therapy. Oncologists are also finding the “old fashioned” combo of melphalan and prednisone can still be effective, even after novel therapy options like Thalomid, Revlimid and Velcade stop working.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat