Outstanding New Myeloma Survival Rate Prognosis And Life Expectancy!  Myeloma Patients Can Be Cured Today! Just A Question Of Durability?

Three recent publications have caught my attention.  The first of which is the French Myeloma Intergroup study– This multicenter trial of RVD with Transplant, RVD Consolidation, and R Maintenance showed exceptional results for newly diagnosed patients.  With a median follow-up of 39 months, estimated 3-year progression-free and overall survival were 77% and 100%. Overall, 58% of patients achieved complete response, and 68% were minimal residual disease (MRD) negative by flow cytometry.  The survival of 100% is remarkable in comparison to the SEER data which has a 64% survival rate.  Link: http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/early/2014/07/10/JCO.2013.54.8164.abstract

The second publication is the
University of Chicago( Dr. Jakubowiak) study. –  A  multicenter study of Carfilzomib(Kyprolis), Lenalidomide, and low dose Dexamethasone for newly diagnosed patients.  KRd provided a high rate of sCR (55%) in NDMM patients (pts) and 3-year progression-free survival and OS rates of 79% and 96%.  Relative survival would therefore be 101.8% vs. the SEER relative survival of  64%.  This is a truly remarkable performance in that the 3 year survival is greater than that of the average person at age 69.   The study was expanded To further improve response and outcomes, by designed a phase II study to assess activity of extended treatment with KRd induction,  ASCT, KRd consolidation, and KRd maintenance. With a medium followup of just 9.7 months the results are not seasoned but still outstanding.  Response improved with each phase of treatment and at the end of 8 cycles, 15/17 evaluable patients (88%) were MRD-negative, all patients were alive and 52 of 53 progression free.  KRd with ASCT for newly diagnosed patients resulted in higher sCR rates than KRd without ASCT and high rate of MRD-negative disease, suggestive of benefit of adding ASCT to KRd treatment. The study link: http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content

Why is this so remarkable?  It is because of how it compares to the recent Blood publication about the Total Therapy program at UAMS in Little Rock.  Little Rock has some of the best survival rates and most seasoned data based on the their analysis of the various Total Therapy protocols.
  For example the 3 year relative survival for TT3, the newest and best performing Total Therapy program was 90.8%.  The 3 year survival  for the  RVD with SCT study,  and with KRd without transplant are both better than the TT3 results.  The 3 year survival performance of KRd with SCT is expected to be the best of all of these trials.  So early results are better than those for TT3, and TT3 has show a cure rate of 50% for all patients.  So if the new studies can maintain DURABLE responses, one might expect a similar or better cure rate.  This is a huge IF!   But let us look at the history of the UAMS Total Therapy program. 



What are the major differences in each of the Total Therapy protocols, and what was the impact of those changes?

Total Therapy 1 was the baseline and showed a rate of cure 10% and used VAD and dual transplants as the base of the protocol

Total Therapy 2 – T added consolidation and had a 5%  improvement in the number of patients cured

Total Therapy 2 + T added thalidomide an IMID to the mix and had a 15% improvement in the number of patients cured

Total Therapy 3 added bortezomib a PI to the mix and had a 20% improvement in the number of patients cured.


In the conclusion section of this Blood publication it stated the following: ”
High CR rates comparable to those achieved with more toxic autotransplant-supported high-dose melphalan have recently been reported with the sole use of novel-agent combinations. Whether these different therapeutic approaches result in equally durable CR, longer follow-up is required. In the interim, we are concerned about prematurely abandoning transplants in favor of therapy solely based on novel agents.”  The significant improvement of the KRd + transplant  over the KRd alone seems to confirm the continued benefit of transplant leading to the most successful outcomes.   So the big question is that of durability. But I would hope because consolidation, the addition of IMID’s, and Proteasome Inhibitors to transplant had resulted in the lion share of improvement, along with the high rate of MRD(minimum residual disease) negative patients bode well for the durability of these new clinical trials.  I hope and pray it does, and TT3 cure rates of 50% can be achieved with less toxicity.

Good luck and may God Bless your Cancer Journey.   For more information on multiple myeloma survival rates and treatments CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1