Sundar Jagannath, MD, Director, Multiple Myeloma Program, The Tisch Cancer Institute at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, details recent advances that have impacted the life expectancy of patients with multiple myeloma.
Fairly new drugs such as bortezomib, lenalidomide, dexamethasone, and thalidomide have moved life expectancy of all multiple myeloma patients from three years to five years, even for older patients. These drugs, Jagannath says, have also moved the life expectancy of younger, transplant-eligible patients from five to seven years.
As carfilzomib is being used more and pomalidomide is expected to be approved soon, Jagannath anticipates that all patients will live eight years and beyond. Elotuzumab and other drugs in the pipeline ( phase II clinical trials) could allow for multiple myeloma to be considered a chronic disease with 10-year survival and certain subsets able to be cured. As the populations of those subsets grow, Jagannath is hopeful that oncologists will be able to find the right drug and tailor patient therapy.
Ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, is the first treatment to demonstrate efficacy in a phase III trial for patients with polycythemia vera (PV), a chronic, incurable blood cancer with limited treatment options