--Study at British Haematology Meeting Reports Increased Survival with Good Quality of Life --
North Hollywood, CA and Würzburg, Germany - April 11, 2008 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)—supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians—today said a study presented at the British Society for Haematology Annual Meeting demonstrates that REVLIMID® has the ability to add years to myeloma patients' lives, and that these years fall within the quality-adjusted life years, or QALY guidelines. QALY is a measurement of cost-effectiveness of a drug based on quality of life achieved, not just the number of years.
Specifically, the study showed the standard REVLIMID plus high dose dexamethasone added at least three years of life compared to dexamethasone alone. Reviewers found the data so impressive that the trial, intended to last ten years, was stopped after just 18 months to allow all patients in the study to take advantage of the therapy.
"These findings provide more evidence that myeloma is demonstrating that blood cancers can be managed, allowing patients to feel good and maintain active, productive lives," said Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the IMF. "REVLIMID does not have the side effects typically associated with chemotherapy, and along with the other 'novel therapies,' VELCADE® and THALOMID®, it is giving physicians the ability to use new classes of drugs in combinations and in sequence to extend even the impressive results in this study and allow patients to achieve long term 'quality' remissions."
Although once considered a rare disease of the elderly, today myeloma is being diagnosed in increasing numbers and in increasingly younger people. Last year a similar study in the United States from a consortium called the Southwest Oncology Group was also stopped early because of the impressive results of the REVLIMID-dexamethasone combination. A study from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group lead by the Mayo clinic demonstrated that lowering the dose of the accompanying dexamethasone could achieve better results and further improve the quality of life for patients.
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. It affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 165,000 members in 113 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses in four key areas: research, education, support and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 120 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and operates Bank On A Cure®, a unique gene bank to advance myeloma research. The IMF was rated as the number one resource for patients in an independent survey by the Target Research Group. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE, or out of the United States at (818) 487-7455. More information is available at www.myeloma.org.
Media Contact: Stephen Gendel or Jennifer Anderson (212) 918-4650