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Charting the Course in Myeloma: Durie Keeps Standards, New Goals in Sight | Page 5

Beth Fand Incollingo
Published Online: Monday, June 10, 2013
While the survival prognosis for those with multiple myeloma was two to three years when Durie joined the field, that outlook has improved to seven or eight years, or as many as 15 years for those with less-aggressive disease, the doctor said.

“It’s amazing for me that myeloma is not a death sentence anymore,” he said. “There is over a 90% chance that I can offer patients a treatment that will work and generate survival for five to 10 years. In fact, I have a patient who has had myeloma for 33 years. We’re not curing patients, but they can have one remission after another that can last for several years each.”

Looking ahead, the ultimate goal will be to find a cure for multiple myeloma, Durie said.

In the meantime, he is very interested in finding ways to prevent the disease. That seems increasingly possible, Durie said, as evidence emerges that multiple myeloma can arise from exposure to chemicals, such as the contaminants released into the New York City air as a result of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

“If chemicals cause myeloma, then this can be the basis for a huge preventive effort over the next 10 to 20 years,” Durie said. “By then, maybe we will have cured some patients, but preventing a lot of people from getting the disease would be even better.”


  1. Avet-Loiseau H, Durie BG, Cavo M, et al. Combining fluorescent in situ hybridization data with ISS staging improves risk assessment in myeloma: an International Myeloma Working Group collaborative project [published online ahead of print October 3, 2012]. Leukemia. 2013;27(3):711-717. doi: 10.1038/leu.2012.282.
  2. Shah JJ, Stadtmauer EA, Abonour R, et al. A multi-center phase I/II trial of carfilzomib and pomalidomide with dexamethasone (car-pom-d) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Blood [ASH Annual Meeting Abstracts]. 2012;120(21): abstr 74.
  3. Durie BG, Salmon SE. A clinical staging system for multiple myeloma. Correlation of measured myeloma cell mass with presenting clinical features, response to treatment, and survival. Cancer. 1975;36(3):842-854.
  4. Durie BG, Young LA, Salmon SE. Human myeloma in vitro colony growth: interrelationships between drug sensitivity, cell kinetics, and patient survival duration. Blood. 1983;61(5):929-934.
  5. Durie BG, Harousseau J-L, Miguel JS, et al. International uniform response criteria for multiple myeloma [published online ahead of print July 20, 2006]. Leukemia. 2006;20(9):1467-1473. doi:10.1038/sj.leu.2404284.
  6. Kumar SK, Lee JH, Lahuerta JJ, et al. Risk of progression and survival in multiple myeloma relapsing after therapy with IMiDs and bortezomib: a multicenter International Myeloma Working Group study [published online ahead of print July 29, 2011]. Leukemia. 2012;26(1):149-157. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.196.

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