Where Would Most Myeloma Patients Be Without Revlimid, Velcade, Kyprolis, and Pomalyst? Without The Clinical Trials That Obtained FDA Approval, Probably DEAD!

PictureFRD – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I am sorry if I was so blunt, however look at the history of myeloma.  With the standard treatment of 15 years ago VAD(Vincristine, Doxorubicin and Dexamethasone) and Stem Cell Transplant the average life expectancy was just 3 years.  With the development of these newer drugs the National Cancer Institute will report the average has doubled to 6 years, and myeloma specialists will quote 10 years or more.  In 2015 we had 4 new drugs developed including Daratumumab, Ninlaro, and Elotuzumab. This did not happen by itself, but has been the result of synergistic efforts of myeloma specialists and researchers, IMF, MMRF, NCI, Pharmaceutical companies and of course my personal heroes, the men and women who sign up for these clinical trials.  I know without their intelligent evaluation of the treatment options, understanding of the outstanding care afforded by clinical trials, and the outstanding cooperation efforts of the entire multiple myeloma community, I would not be here to write this blog today.  How did myeloma achieve this outstanding drug development and survival improvement?  We have had trouble accruing for trials but have managed to overcome some of the myths surrounding clinical trials through commitment and education.  I think Myeloma Crowd TV has explained this better than most. Jenny Alhstrom provides a great explanation, and I believe it will put most of your fears to rest.  As FDR said on a much bigger stage, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts…”

My hats off to all the people who have worked so hard to get these new drugs approved, without which the survival would not have doubled and with all the new drugs likely to double again.  It just amazes me that a disease which represent just 1% or all cancers can represent 21% of all new cancer drug development.  Now, however, we have a new challenge and that is what I think will be the silver bullet that finally cures myeloma, and that is the new immunotherapies.  We need expanded participation by the myeloma patient community to FINALLY bring this disease to an end. I hope and pray new clinical trials WILL result in the CURE.

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