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January 3, 2002: IMF Myeloma Minute
01.03.02

MYELOMA NEWS:

Tandem Transplant Approach to Multiple Myeloma Achieves Complete Responses
(Courtesy of CancerEducaton.com)

ORLANDO—There’s increasing enthusiasm for a mini-allogeneic graft as a curative booster, with low toxicity, to an autologous stem-cell transplant for multiple myeloma patients.

In a multicenter study, 35 of 41 patients (85%) with advanced myeloma given the tandem transplants are still surviving after a median of 13 months, some for more than three years. The treatment-related mortality was 13%. All patients, who were 39 to 71 years old, had relapsed disease that had been heavily pretreated, Dr. David Maloney of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told the plenary session of the American Society of Hematology meeting here last week.

The concept is to reduce the tumor burden with a low-risk autologous graft and then use the mini-allogeneic transplant to achieve the potentially curative graft vs. myeloma effect without the toxicity of a standard high-dose allogeneic graft.

The patients had standard autologous stem-cell grafts after a single course of high-dose melphalan. Then six to 10 weeks later they had mini-allogeneic transplants from HLA-matched siblings, using a low-intensity conditioning regimen of a single dose of radiation, plus mycophenolic acid mofetil and cyclosporine.

Overall, about 60% of the patients achieved complete responses. Of that group, only one patient has progressed. In all, there has been a progression-free survival of about 83%.

Investigational Agent Sets Multiple Myeloma Back on its Heels
(Also from CancerEducation.com)

ORLANDO--A proteasome inhibitor has produced some remarkable turnarounds for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

In an ongoing phase-2 study of LDP-341 (formerly PS-341, Millennium), the agent completely halted disease progression for 18 of 54 patients who had averaged five prior unsuccessful therapies, Dr. Paul G. Richardson of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston told the American Society of Hematology meeting here this week.

After just two cycles of LDP-341, 22 of the 54 had at least a 50% reduction in M protein levels and six had at least a 90% drop. One patient who had undergone 14 unsuccessful therapies had M protein levels that completely disappeared after treatment with LDP-341, Dr. Richardson reported.

Overall, 46 of the 54 had disease stabilization or a reduction in M protein levels after receiving LDP-341 for six weeks. Seventy percent of the patients previously received thalidomide and 53% had prior stem-cell transplantation or other high-dose
therapy.

Dr. Richardson called side effects manageable. They included fatigue, diarrhea, a drop in platelets, and peripheral neuropathy. There was no hair loss or apparent increase in infection risk, and only 9% of patients halted therapy because of adverse events.


NEWS FROM THE IMF:

A New Year's Resolution that's Easy to Keep: Kick off 2002 by Attending an IMF Patient & Family Seminar!

The IMF is pleased to announce that our first Patient & Family Seminar of 2002 will be held on January 11th and 12th in Dallas, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. Patient & Family Seminars are the best way to stay informed of new developments in the treatment and management of myeloma. Patients & Family Seminars are extremely valuable for both newly-diagnosed patients as well as long-term survivors. The myeloma world is rapidly changing and attending a seminar is a great way to stay "in the loop." Knowledge is power! The more you learn about myeloma, the easier it will be to make educated treatment choices. The Dallas seminar comes close on the heels of the 2001 ASH Annual Meeting, the biggest medical trade show of interest to hematologists and oncologists, so the timing is ripe for several new myeloma findings to be discussed. You may register online, or by calling (800) 452-CURE. We hope to see you in the Lone Star State!

The IMF will also host Patient & Family Seminars in Atlanta in April and Washington, DC in June!


ITEMS OF INTEREST:

Research Participants Sought
Parents with cancer are needed for a research project that is testing the effectiveness of a new video education and support program geared towards helping families cope during a parent’s cancer diagnosis. The project is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI PDQ #NCI-V01-1659). You may be eligible to participate if you have been diagnosed with cancer within the last five years and have at least one child between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age. For more information regarding the study, please contact Sharon Meiri, Research Coordinator, at 1-800-848-3895, x. 226 or by email at smeiri@inflexxion.com.

Multiple Myeloma Specialist Dr. Phil Greipp to Run with Olympic Torch on Behalf of Grateful Patients
In April, 2001, International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) members nationwide came together to nominate Dr. Phil Greipp of the Mayo Clinic as on Olympic Torchbearer for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. Our efforts were successful and Dr. Greipp will now run a leg of the relay in the Milwaukee, WI region the evening of Jan. 5, 2002. Dr. Greipp's run will begin at 5:20 p.m. at 3443 Maryland Ave. and will take him through to the Maryland-Hartford interchange.
Please come out and join us as we cheer on this dedicated myeloma specialist who has made a profound difference in the lives of so many myeloma patients and their families. Members of the myeloma community are gathering for a pre-run reception to honor Dr. Greipp at the University of Wisconsin Student Union, room 240 East from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. The Student Union is located at 2200 E. Kenwood. Free parking is available. While at the reception, be sure to sign one of the two 10-foot banners that have been created in support of Dr. Greipp's heroic run.


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