There is a NEW FUTURE in Multiple Myeloma Treatments – Survival Rates and Life Expectancy Surge Forward!

The cure panel discussion on New Promising Treatments for Multiple Myeloma was broadcast live on January 30 and featured Dr. Shaji K. Kumar from Mayo Clinic Rochester and Dr. Edward A. Faber Jr. of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  These exceptional multiple myeloma specialists presented data on the recent ASH (American Society of Hematology) meeting.  Both of their programs are known for exceptional survival rates and life expectancy.  The rebroadcast can be heard if you just CLICK HERE.

Dr. Shaji Kumar led the presentation, with what I can only call a knock- out punch, that set the stage for all that followed.  His first remarks centered on a recent presentation that Mayo provided at ASH that showed the tremendous progress in survival rates and life expectancy that the currently approved FDA novel agents and newer treatments have provided in just 5 short years at the Mayo Clinic.  This data represents the progress that was made with the older approved novel agents of Velcade, Revlimid, and Thalidomide, and excludes any of the most recent novel agents of Carfilzomib and Pomalidomide, and all the other agents that Dr. Kumar and Dr. Faber addressed during this broadcast. 


Mayo Clinic conducted a retrospective study of all of their multiple myeloma patients.  The five year survival rates for the 2001-2005 period was about 48%, while the 2006-2010 period had a five year survival of 68%.  You are therefore 1.625 times more likely to survive for 5 years in the second period vs. the first period. This is a far cry from the prior study of patients between 1985-1998 when Dr. Kyle of Mayo stated that the survival had not changed at all during this period and remained at 33 months.  If you look at the data for the 2001-2005 periods, the average survival or life expectancy was very close to 5 years.  So the first 5 year period of 2001-2005 you would live 1.81 times longer than in the period of Dr. Kyle’s study.  And the average survival rate has not been reached as yet for the 2006-2010 period.  This is nothing less than remarkable strides in survival rates and life expectancy at Mayo and I would argue at all other facilities like Dr. Faber’s  University of Nebraska Medical Center who have a skilled multiple myeloma specialist on staff.  Unfortunately this improvement has not as yet shown up in the National Cancer Institutes SEER data,  but hopefully will in the near future.    The SEER data is about three years behind, with 2008 as their most recent data. 

All of the information on Promising New Treatments by Dr Kumar and Dr. Faber has yet to be reflected in the improvement in the Mayo data.  The doctors each presented information that showed the new treatments, and these treatments show additional promise and will drive the life expectancy higher and higher.  The Cure Panel discussion of Promising New Treatments began with Dr. Kumar discussing the new iMiD’s and proteasome inhibitors.  These included Pomalidamide , Carfilzomib, and MLN9708.  In addition, Dr. Kumar discussed the new combination therapies substituting Carfilzomib and Pomalidamide in the RVd regiment.

Dr. Faber discussed the newest drugs under development for multiple myeloma that include drugs that target different pathways and other classes of drugs.  They included a KSP inhibitor, Daratumumab, BTK inhibitor, and BAFF-1 inhibitor.  Dr. Faber also talked about some of the very promising research coming from the combination of the same class of drugs like Revlamid and Thalidomide.  Both are iMiDs, but found to work well in combination.  Dr. Faber did an exceptional job in presenting this new data in a manner that was understandable and patient friendly.  Priya Menon of Cure Talk provided a nice summary of the broadcast at the link:  Pat Killingsworth, a panel member and author, had a recent blog post with his takeaways from the broadcast and you can find it at the link: 

Dr. Faber and Dr. Kumar not only provided us with this valuable information, but professionally and clearly answered all of the panel’s questions, as well as all the questions asked by the listeners.  Please do listen to the broadcast, I think you will see your NEW FUTURE, and it is brighter.

And as always may God Bless your myeloma journey/Gary Petersen

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