Breaking MM News From ASH

Revlimid Does Not Increase the Risk of Second Primary Cancers for Newly-Diagnosed Patients

I know patients who say that their doctor would not recommend Revlimid for them because the doctor believed that Revlimid posed a risk of second primary malignancy (SPM), meaning some other cancer in addition to MM. Some early studies seemed to indicate that, and some doctors have taken it to heart without paying much attention to contrary data, choosing to avoid Revlimid even when it may be the most promising option.

Now an organization called “Connect MM,” consisting of doctors from medical centers all over the country and even including our own Dr Brian Durie, has presented a paper based on a data base called the Multiple Myeloma Disease Registry, compiled by the National Cancer Institute. The data base provided actual clinical data from 1493 newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients, who were enrolled at 243 different US sites and observed for an average of about 2 1/2 years.

Bottom line: NDMM patients taking Revlimid have no more risk of SPM than patients taking other regimens. Here is the paper. The only significant risk factor the doctors found was “prior invasive malignancy,” meaning that you are more likely to get a new cancer if you have had one before.  No surprise there.

I’ve written about this before, arguing that the early data was misinterpreted and that Revlimid did not pose an elevated risk for SPM. This pretty much clinches it, at least for newly-diagnosed patients and it has some meaning for all of us.