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To transplant or not to transplant; that is the question!

Home/Transplants/To transplant or not to transplant; that is the question!

To transplant or not to transplant; that is the question!

Did you happen to catch this in-depth report,Experts Disagree on Role of Transplant in Myeloma: New drugs provide powerful options, but little consensus on standard treatments, in Clinical Oncology News last weeks?

Ted Bosworth’s extensive piece casts a different light on the most common question asked by newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers.  Here are a few key excerpts:

New York—There is a profound disagreement over whether early stem cell transplant (SCT) should still be characterized as a standard early intervention for multiple myeloma (MM), even in relatively young patients…

The debate about the role of early SCT could be at least partially resolved with data generated from an ongoing trial known as Intergroupe Francophone du Myelome (IFM)/DFCI 2009 that Dr. Munshi has been closely involved in developing. In the trial, which has completed enrollment, patients between the ages of 18 and 65 with MM and no prior therapy were randomized to receive lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (RVD) with or without SCT (see page 19). The primary outcome is PFS. Relative toxicity will be evaluated as a secondary end point even though quality-of-life comparisons are not a part of the formal design.

The trial has the potential to establish whether SCT adds benefit when combined with newer agents…

Much of the article features well known stem cell transplant critic, Dr. James Berenson, debating the necessity and efficacy of the procedure with Dana-Farber’s Doctor Nikhil C. Munshi.  Apparently this unprecedented trial, “has the potential to determine whether chemotherapy alone is as good or better for long-term outcome as SCT plus chemotherapy.”

This is a must read for any informed member of our myeloma community.  Here’s the link:

I’ve noticed a lot of broken links in past blog posts lately, so I’ve been trying to include the entire URL as often as I can when I share a link.  Not very elegant, but that way if the link doesn’t hold up you can copy and paste the address directly in your browser.  I simply don’t have time to go back and fix a half dozen or so broken links everyday.  Hope you understand.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat