Dr. Berenson dropped several bombshell this evening on our Myeloma Cure Panel discussion. REAL NEWS!
Although Dr. Berenson couldn’t share specific date that he will be presenting next week at ASH in Atlanta, he let slip that substituting Kyprolis for Velcade in RVD or other multiple drug resistant patients is achieving surprisingly high success rates.
When I pressed him on the low 23% response rates in the clinical trial used to obtain FDA approval a few months back, Dr. Berenson astutely pointed-out that the low response rate in patients that had become resistance (refractory) to Velcade was due to the fact that Kyprolis was used as a single agent in that trial. “Carfilzomib (Kyprolis) works much better in combination with other myeloma drugs.” He asserted.
So by simply substituting the “K” for the “V,” in RVD, Dr. Berenson has been able to achieve much higher success rates than when Kyprolis is used as a single agent.
Additionally, Dr. Berenson pointed-out that if 5% of autologous stem cell transplant recipients are still in remission after 10 years, the identical results can be duplicated by patients that have never transplanted and have only used novel therapy agents.
Love him or hate him, Dr. Berenson is always willing to share his opinion. He is not a big transplant guy, preferring therapies that “Do no harm.” He also isn’t a big fan of hitting myeloma hard up-front.
If you were going to design a treatment continuum, Total Therapy and tandem transplants and donor transplants would be on one end, and Dr. Berenson’s incremental, try and avoid using a transplant whenever possible would be on the other. As a matter of fact, Dr. Berenson definitively stated to a follow-up caller: “I never recommend a transplant.”
This seems a bit rigid to me, but I admire Dr. Berenson and his “less is more,” quality of life approach.
I was also surprised to learn that he isn’t a big fan of curcumin, although he conceded that using it “probably doesn’t hurt.”
This was a fascinating discussion, with lots of great questions from callers and the panel. You can listen to a replay of the broadcast by CLICKING HERE.
Dr. Berenson stressed that he thinks it is a mistake to dismiss Doxil and Thalomid these days. Both are “extremely active” in the lab against myeloma,” Dr. Berenson added. He said that he uses Thalomid and Doxil in low doses on Velcade days and has had amazing results doing that. Dr. Berenson prefers Medrol to dexamethasone.
Dr. Berenson isn’t afraid to experiment with patients, using unique and unusual drug combinations–seemingly anything to help his patients avoid uncomfortable side effects. He tries to take what his research team learns in the lab and apply it to patients right away. He sees a lot of patients in his practice, and it’s obvious that he has learned a lot.
I would like to share this: If Dr. Berenson’s excitement about new data being revealed at ASH is any indication, I’M THRILLED TO BE SPENDING FIVE DAYS IN ATLANTA NEXT WEEK!
I will be reporting all of the news here—and while Tweeting and blogging for the IMF—from Friday morning through Tuesday at noon.
I had better rest-up! Feel good and keep smiling! Pat