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Velcade(R) Plus Doxil(R) Improves Previously Treated Multiple Myeloma Patients

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., and CHICAGO, The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)-supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians-today said that data from a follow-up to a Phase 3 multi- national clinical trial shows the combination of DOXIL(R) with VELCADE(R) improves the probability of survival by 41%.

The follow-up study also showed no increase in serious side effects such as neuropathy with the addition of DOXIL to the VELCADE. The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) global cancer meeting in Chicago.

The VELCADE/DOXIL combination was approved by the FDA just last month as a new treatment option for myeloma patients who have relapsed or who have not responded to at least one other course of treatment. The drugs work in combination because there is evidence that VELCADE increases the effectiveness of DOXIL against cancer cells and DOXIL does the same for VELCADE.

"'Improved survival' are words that every cancer patient wants to hear, and we are encouraged to have this new option to offer patients with peer reviewed data behind it," said Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the IMF. "Until there is a cure, we are moving myeloma toward becoming a chronic disease with long term survival achieved by using drugs in combination and in sequence. The VELCADE/DOXIL combination fits perfectly into this paradigm and offers an important and powerful new opportunity to extend and improve patients' lives."

DOXIL is a specially (liposomal) formulated version of the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin, and is approved for use in other forms of cancer. VELCADE, bortezomib, is approved for myeloma patients who have relapsed or not responded to a previous course of treatment. The findings come from a 14 month follow-up to a multi-national trial involving nearly 650 patients.

Myeloma, also called mul tiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. It affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide, and in industrialized countries it is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people.


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