September 2012, Vol 1, No 4

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Progressive Myeloma Responds to Monoclonal Antibody

Don Schrader

Conference News

More than 80% of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma responded to a monoclonal antibody against a cell surface protein expressed by almost all myeloma cells, results of a phase 2 clinical trial showed.

All patients received lenalidomide and dexa­methasone and were randomized to 10 or 20 mg of

The overall response rate included 92% of patients treated with 10 mg of elotuzumab and 73% of those who received 20 mg. After a median follow-up of 17.2 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) had not been reached among patients in the 10-mg cohort, whereas patients assigned to 20 mg of elotuzumab had a median PFS of 18 months.

“These data are really encouraging when compared to those achieved with lenalidomide and high-dose dexamethasone,” Philippe Moreau, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Hotel-Dieu University Hospital in Nantes, France, said at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

An analysis limited to patients who had received only 1 prior regimen showed that all patients treated with the 10-mg dose of elotuzumab had objective responses, as did 82% of those who received the higher dose of the monoclonal antibody.

“[These results] indicate that this combination could also be effective in frontline treatment,” Moreau added.

Elotuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the CS1 glycoprotein expressed by more than 95% of myeloma cells. Normal cells express little or no CS1.

Moreau presented results of a trial involving 73 patients with previously treated multiple myeloma. A majority of the patients had received 2 or more prior regimens, and more than 60% of the patients had received lenalidomide and bortezomib.

The results showed that 33 of 36 patients in the 10-mg group had objective responses, including 5 complete responses. In the 20-mg arm, 30 of 37 patients responded to elotuzumab. Moreau reported that 48% of the entire study population had responses that met criteria for very good partial responses.

The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were neutropenia, lymphopenia, and thrombocytopenia, each of which occurred in 16% of patients.

Conference News - September 19, 2012

Severe Diarrhea Associated With Molecularly Targeted Agents Can Impact Quality of Life and Healthcare Resource Utilization

A preliminary report of a meta-analysis of clinical trials of molecularly targeted therapies shows that they are not benign and can add to the toxicity of standard chemotherapy. In particular, increased rates of oral mucositis and diarrhea are reported with several FDA-approved agents. Increased mucositis seen with bevacizumab and erlotinib [ Read More ]

Uncategorized - September 19, 2012

Pharmacogenomics in Cancer Care: Adding Some Science to the Art of Medicine

Despite increasing publicity, “personalized medicine” is not a new phenomenon in cancer care. Oncologists have long used criteria such as body size, perfor­mance status, comorbid conditions, organ function, lifestyle, and a patient’s goals of care to individualize treatment decisions and drug doses. Additionally, dose adjustments of 1 or more agents [ Read More ]