Here are the results from a study released this week at a large European Hematology Event in Barcelona, Spain.  I found this on a medical professionals only site, Pharmacy Europe:

Phase III studies demonstrate significantly superior progression free survival with continuous revlimid therapy in diagnosed multiple myeloma

Monday, June 28, 2010

Data presented at the European Haematology Association’s annual congress in Barcelona, Spain, from the planned second interim analysis (median follow-up of 21 months) of a phase III, randomised, double-blind study of continuous REVLIMID (lenalidomide) (MM-015) for the treatment of elderly patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma showed improvement in progression free survival (PFS).

The study of 459 patients 65 years or older evaluated patients receiving lenalidomide in combination with melphalan and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide alone (MPR-R) (n=152); patients receiving lenalidomide in combination with melphalan and prednisone, followed by placebo (MPR) (n=153); and patients receiving placebo, melphalan and prednisone, followed by placebo (MP) (n=154). Patients were also offered lenalidomide therapy if they progressed while participating in the study. The primary endpoint of the study was to determine the improvement of progression free survival (PFS) in patients who received MPR-R versus patients who received MP.

Median PFS of the MPR-R arm has yet to be reached, while the MP arm had a median PFS of 13 months (p<0.001). Patients treated with MPR-R had a 58% reduction in the risk of disease progression compared to MP, an improvement over the reduction in risk of disease progression reported at the first interim analysis in December 2009. At the time of the second analysis, it was estimated that 55% of all patients receiving MPR-R would remain progression free after two years compared to only 16% of patients receiving MP.

It is hard to imagine testing like this is still going on–a reminder that Europe is behind the U.S. in multiple myeloma therapy.  I first noted the discrepancy while attending ASH in New Orleans last December.  In most European countries, melphalan/prednisone is still a standard of care.  For our sakes, I’m glad the United States still leads the world in something–in this case providing us with more effective treatment options.
Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat