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Drug Combination Highly Effective for Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patients, Study Finds
Date:12/12/2011

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A three-drug combination treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma compares favorably to the best established therapy for newly diagnosed patients, according to a multi-center study led by Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the multiple myeloma program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Jakubowiak will present final results of the phase I-II study on Dec. 12, 2011, at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, Calif. The initial results from phase I of this study were presented at the ASH Meeting 2010 and were selected for the Best of ASH 2010 session.

The combination includes an investigational medicine called carfilzomib combined with two standard medications: lenalidomide, an analogue of thalidomide, and low-dose dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory with anti-cancer properties.

"This combination appears to deliver everything we expected and more," said Jakubowiak, who came to the University of Chicago this fall from the University of Michigan. "We have seen excellent efficacy — the best reported to date — without the neurotoxicity that has been problematic with other drug combinations."

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that arises in plasma cells, the bone marrow component that produces antibodies. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 20,520 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011 and 10,610 will die from the disease.

The research team enrolled 53 people at three different carfilzomib dose levels. Most patients responded quickly t
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SOURCE University of Chicago Medical Center
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