Alan Skarbnik, MD, staff physician, department of Bone Marrow Transplant, department of Lymphoma, John Theurer Cancer Center, discusses unmet needs for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies.
Alan Skarbnik, MD, staff physician, department of Bone Marrow Transplant, Department of Lymphoma, John Theurer Cancer Center, discusses unmet needs for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies.
There is a question of how to manage patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies, according to Skarbink. The standard of care is an autologous stem cell transplant; however, most of these patients will relapse quickly. This poses the question of whether physicians should consolidate these patients further with therapy post-transplantation, including allogeneic stem cell transplantation in order to decrease the risk of relapse, or if they should be monitored further.
An approach that has been tested is lenalidomide (Revlimid) maintenance therapy post-autologous transplant in patients with multiple myeloma. Data are still questionable but it appears that it might increase progression-free survival and overall survival for these patients, explains Skarbink. The FDA has approved lenalidomide as a maintenance therapy for patients with multiple myeloma following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant in February 2017.