Preliminary results from a large US study of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma found that a low dose of the steroid dexamethasone (brand named Decadron), in combination with lenalidomide (brand name Revlimid), improved survival when compared to a treatment regimen with lenalidomide and a higher, standard dose of dexamethasone.
Researchers reported Wednesday that patients in the study who received low-dose dexamethasone and lenalidomide had a one-year survival of 96 percent, compared to 86 percent for patients treated with the standard-dose of dexamethasone and lenalidomide. Also, there were fewer side effects associated with the low-dose dexamethasone and lenalidomide, according to the US National Cancer Institute.
Lenalidomide, a derivative of thalidomide, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006 to be used in tandem with dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who had received at least one prior therapy for their disease. Dexamethasone is a steroid that acts as an anti-inflammatory and as an immunosuppressant.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells that are found in blood and bone marrow.
Results of the new study, sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute, will be presented in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. But the researchers released the findings early because they were so promising. – (HealthDayNews)
A-Z of Multiple myeloma
Thalidomide fights myeloma