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Multiple Myeloma News

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Multiple Myeloma News

The myeloma world doesn’t stop turning just because I”m out of town visiting my father.   Let’s catch-up on a few important odds ‘n ends today.

First, I received an email from a reader, questioning the value of the Mayo Clinic retrospective study that Danny Parker and I reported on yesterday.  The issue: the study or our analysis didn’t address quality of life (QOL) issues.

Fair enough.  Here’s an abstract from a study that tried to do just that:

Review of health-related quality of life data in multiple myeloma patients treated with novel agents.

Sonneveld P, Verelst SG, Lewis P, Gray-Schopfer V, Hutchings A, Nixon A, Petrucci MT.

Department of Hematology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


In multiple myeloma (MM), health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data is becoming increasingly important, owing to improved survival outcomes and the impact of treatment-related toxicity on HRQoL. Researchers are more frequently including HRQoL assessments in clinical trials, but analysis and reporting of this data has not been consistent. A systematic literature review assessed the effect of novel agents (thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide) on HRQoL in MM patients, and evaluated the subsequent reporting of these HRQoL results. A relatively small body of literature addresses HRQoL data in MM patients treated with novel MM therapeutic agents: 9 manuscripts and 15 conference proceedings. The literature demonstrates the complementary value of HRQoL when assessing clinical response, progression, overall survival and toxicity. However, weaknesses and inconsistencies in analysis and presentation of HRQoL data were observed, often complicating interpretation of the impact of treatment on HRQoL in MM. Further evaluation of HRQoL in MM patients treated with novel agents is required in larger cohorts, and ideally in head-to-head comparative studies. Additionally, the development of standardised MM-specific best practice guidelines in HRQoL data collection and analysis is recommended. These would ensure that future data are more useful in guiding predictive models and clinical decisions.Leukemia advance online publication, 16 July 2013; doi:10.1038/leu.2013.185.

Sometimes these abstracts are difficult to follow.  But I think it’s clear that these researchers ran into a number of difficulties quantifying QOL among myeloma patients.  It reminds me of my days back at the University of Wisconsin, studying sociology and political science.  I always got the impression that no matter how scientific researchers tried to be while studying human nature, they were bound to fail.  The social sciences are more of an inexact art than science.

I’m not saying it’s not worth a try; just don’t expect reliable data!

Next, reporter and cancer survivor, Andrew Schorr, has featured multiple myeloma related topics several times on his Patient Power media site recently.  Here are the links:

How Doctors Decide Treatments for Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patients

A New Backbone Therapy in the Future for Myeloma Treatment

Next Generation Meds Offer New Options for Myeloma Patients

Finally, If you have been following my posts about promising new drugs to treat multiple myeloma, you will recognize ARRY-520.  Being developed by Array BioPharma, the new compound is one of the hottest next best things starting clinical trials.

I was surprised to learn that Wall Street investors haven’t discovered the company yet.  Here’s a link to an in-depth report on the company, it’s stock and ARRY-520 on Seeking

Array BioPharma Remains Undiscovered Gem In Cancer Treatment Industry

A worthwhile read, even if you aren’t an investor.

That’s more than enough for today.  I’m leaving my father’s side for a few hours to meet an old friend and his wife for an early lunch.  Stillwater, Minnesota myeloma support group leader, Karl Vollstedt, and his lovely wife, Lorraine, are headed back to Minnesota after  visiting friends in Chicago–and they happen to be driving right by Rockford where my dad lives.

Can’t miss an opportunity to visit with “the Godfather” of myeloma support groups; Karl has been doing this for a long, long time.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat