Okay, another update quicker than I had envisioned.
The NIH published an article with long-term follow-up on patients treated with a single autologous transplant during the era of “old drugs.” This means before velcade, revlimid, thalidomide, etc. This also means before maintenance.
The last line of the article speaks volumes.
The achievement of depth and prolonged response represents the most important prognostic factor. The relapse rate is low for patients in CR after 10 years of follow-up, possibly signifying a cure.
This fully corroborates the concept of the plateau that Arkansas has spoken of and which others have denied or been skeptical about. Now I don’t have NIH access so I haven’t read the full article. I’m sure there’s more to it than just that one line. But there is more and more evidence, and more and more doctors are admitting, that aggressive therapy can cure the disease.