Multiple myeloma news runs in cycles and streaks. The calendar revolves around the two largest U.S. hematology and oncology conferences: The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) meetings in June, and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meetings in December.
That is where researchers and drug companies present their most important study results. Starting as early as six weeks prior to each event, information begins to “leak out” about research findings, which will be presented at the next meeting. The week before, during and after these two five day conferences are overloaded with news and data–so much so it can take as many as two or three months for all of the news to “shake itself out” and circulate around trade circles and get picked-up by the main stream media.
That means from now until May, there won’t be a lot of myeloma related news. I started my new http://www.myelomanews.com/ site to help get important info out to multiple myeloma survivors, caregivers and medical professionals during those busy times.
Lately, I have only been posting news there two or three times a week. But in two months, expect daily updates as the news starts to flow freely once again.
Still, once in a while an important study, or some FDA related news, emerges during these “tweener” days between March/May and September/November. There are also a number of important European and Australian oncology meetings taking place from time to time–there will be one in Paris shortly.
Yesterday I shared a link to an important article which ran this month in Cure Magazine, comparing the new, bisphosphonate alternative, Denosumab, with Zometa on MyelomaNews.com.
Here is a link to an abstract from a noteworthystudy, also released yesterday, courtesy of OncologySTAT:
The study’s conclusion: “Lenalidomide may be equally effective in heavily pre-treated multiple myeloma patients who are thalidomide-resistant or thalidomide-sensitive to a previous therapy.”
In other words, it may not be such a bad idea to use thalidomide (Thalomid) first, because when it stops working, there is a high probability lenalidomide (Revlimid) may still work.
Of course, this doesn’t take into account the high risk of a patient experiencing serious and sometimes irreversible peripheral neuropathy (PN) from prolonged use of thalidomide.
Still, in a time when pomalidomide is hoped to still work on around 50% of patients who have become resistant to Revlimid–and carfilzomib is hoped to work on a similar number of patients who have become resistant to Velcade–the success rate from this study is impressive.
WOW! Two important myeloma related stories in early March. I just felt you “myeloma news junkies” needed a “fix” to kick-off this traditionally slow news month. Feel good and keep smiling! Pat