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The International Myeloma Foundation Says New Clinical Trial,Results Could Improve Survival While Reducing Side Effects For Many,Patients

the IMF, added, "These findings may also have wider implications for cancer treatments because they challenge the traditional notion that patients should be treated with the highest dose of medicine they can tolerate. Now we have evidence that in some situations, less may be more when treating cancer."

REVLIMID from the Celgene Corporation is the newest of the group of medicines called novel therapies that have significantly improved the outlook for patients with myeloma. Preliminary analysis of the ECOG data shows patients taking REVLIMID plus low dose dexamethasone had a 96% survival rate after one year with a reduced risk of side effects. One year survival for those taking the higher dose of dexamethasone was 86%. The findings are expected to prompt review of the dexamethasone dose when paired with other medications used in myeloma such as THALOMID(R), and discussions are already underway to change dosing in other clinical trials using REVLIMID with dexamethasone.

"This is a very exciting finding for patients," said Michael Katz, who, as a 16-year myeloma survivor, is a vice president of the IMF and co-chair of ECOG's Patient Representatives Committee. "When ECOG's patient representatives proposed adding a lower dose 'dex' arm to this trial, we were just looking for a way to make the treatment more tolerable; we never expected that the outcome for patients would actually improve. We are grateful to all of the patients who participated and to ECOG Group chair, Dr. Robert Comis and Myeloma Committee chair, Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, for supporting the notion of testing lower doses and making this trial happen."

Mr. Katz continued: "This result sends an important signal to physicians that maximum tolerated dose is not always the right answer when treating patients with cancers like myeloma that are incurable, but highly treatable."

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white
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