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The IMF and International Myeloma Working Group Agree: No Evidence Long Term Use Of Revlimid Causes Secondary Cancer In Patients Who Have Not Undergone Stem Cell Transplantation

Home/The IMF and International Myeloma Working Group Agree: No Evidence Long Term Use Of Revlimid Causes Secondary Cancer In Patients Who Have Not Undergone Stem Cell Transplantation

The IMF and International Myeloma Working Group Agree: No Evidence Long Term Use Of Revlimid Causes Secondary Cancer In Patients Who Have Not Undergone Stem Cell Transplantation

Friday I wrote an article about the International Myeloma Foundation’s (IMF) response to the new Revlimid/secondary cancer controversy: 
The International Myeloma Foundation’s Official Statement Concerning Data Linking Long Term/Post Transplant Revlimid Use To Secondary Cancers.

While I was preparing the article, I corresponded several times with Robin Touhy, Regional Director of Support Groups for the IMF’s Northeast Region. 

At the end of the day, I asked Robin to get me the answers to the following questions to share with my readers.  Here is my question–then her response:

What does the IMF and the International Myeloma Working Group have to say about long term Revlimid users who have not undergone a stem cell transplant? Are they also possibly at risk to develop secondary cancers?

If you could forward that to Dr. Durie on my behalf, that would be great. I am asking for me (I have used Revlimid for almost four years) and my readers. Thanks so much- Pat
 
Robin’s response:
Thank you for the question Pat, it certainly is relevant.

If you review the IMF FAQs you will see that FAQ #9 addresses this particular question, that “SPCs have not been associated with lenalidomide use in either the frontline setting or in relapsed/refractory cases.”

As you can see, right now there is no concern about Revlimid use outside of the transplant setting.

Perhaps you would like to update your current blog with this information.

Thank you!
Robin Tuohy

Thanks you, Robin.  This is an important distinction.  The secondary cancer risk issues are all from international studies when Revlimid is used for maintenance after a patient undergoes a stem cell transplant (SCT).

That doesn’t mean the secondary cancer issue won’t come up later for those of use who have yet to transplant. 

Here is a link to a story I did earlier this month which helps summarize the Revlimid/secondary cancer controversy, providing links to a number of additional articles on the subject:

Revlimid Controversy: Real Or Overreaction?

The bottom line:  These researchers are working hard to try and determine if it is melphalan (most common chemotherapy agent used during SCT’s to destroy existing bone marrow) causing these secondary cancers, a combination of melphalan and Revlimid, or Revlimid alone.  The latter should be of greatest concern to the growing number of patients who are using Revlimid outside of the transplant setting. 

Feel good and keep smiling!   Pat