In accordance with our mission to keep patients and caregivers informed about the latest developments in myeloma treatment and care, the IMF hosted a conference call for Support Group Leaders to discuss second primary cancers (SPCs) and myeloma treatment.
Clinical trial data reported at ASH in December 2010, raised questions about SPCs and longer term treatment with Revlimid® in the post-transplant setting.
An FAQ about the issue is posted on the IMF Website, and the call gave two physicians, Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., and Ken Anderson, M.D., the opportunity to provide additional details and answer specific patient questions. The two spoke as private physicians based on their own expertise and years of experience, and did not represent any organization or institution. The call was by invitation-only so they could answer specific patient questions without violating privacy issues.
Their view? Right now, we are trying to verify if there is a link between second primary cancer occurrence and longer term Revlimid use. Dr. Durie stated that, “We are in the information-gathering mode and we have to be very careful before we jump to conclusions. We need to look closely at all the factors that may contribute to the development of second primary cancers.”
For patients, Drs. Durie and Anderson were mindful that awareness concerning second primary cancers and treatment dates back to associations of melphalan with second cancers. Dr. Anderson noted, “This didn’t mean melphalan was bad. It just meant we had to maximize benefits and minimize risks.”
Patients should discuss benefits of all treatments versus risks with their own physicians, and the IMF will keep patients up to date on additional data that may tip the balance one way or another.
Frequently Asked Questions about second primary cancers in myeloma patients.