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Novel therapeutic agents provide hope for patients with hard-to-treat blood disorders
Date:12/9/2012

ne in Patients with Previously Untreated Multiple Myeloma (MM) [Abstract 332]

Early-stage research suggests that when added to standard multiple myeloma therapy, an investigational oral proteasome inhibitor known as MLN9708 increases the efficacy of treatment with few side effects.

The last decade has seen an explosion of new therapies for myeloma, a disease that causes the plasma cells found in the bone marrow to grow uncontrollably and form tumors. These tumor cells can destroy bones, damage kidneys, and make it difficult for the bone marrow to produce healthy blood cells and platelets, which puts patients at higher risk of infection and abnormal bleeding. One therapy for myeloma is bortezomib, a drug classified as a proteasome inhibitor for its activity blocking the proteasome (a cell structure that regulates the proteins involved in cell replication and survival), which prevents the function of proteins essential for myeloma cell survival. Another myeloma treatment strategy involves immunomodulatory agents, such as lenalidomide, which bolster the immune system's response to myeloma and alter the tumor microenvironment that sustains cancer cell growth. While each therapy is individually effective, when combined they offer improved response rates and lead to longer duration of response.

While immunomodulatory agents are produced in convenient oral pill form, bortezomib must be administered via injection and carries a risk of nerve damage, which can deter patient adherence to treatment regimens. MLN9708, the first oral proteasome inhibitor to enter clinical trials for the treatment of myeloma, may offer a more convenient and tolerable form of treatment that limits the risk of nerve damage.

In order to assess the efficacy, safety, and proper dose of MLN9708 in previously untreated myeloma patients, researchers enrolled 65 patients in a
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Contact: Andrea Slesinski
aslesinski@hematology.org
614-352-5096
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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