Combination of dexamethasone, Velcade, and lenalidomide effective for multiple myelomaAccording to a team headed by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, a new combo of Velcade with dexamethasone and lenalidomide can prove to be effective for patients who have been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The combination of these three drugs is effective for treating multiple myeloma patients who have relapsed after failing to respond to standard treatment therapies or after successful treatment.

From News-Medical.Net:

The three-pronged regimen of Velcade, lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone – referred to as Rev/Vel/Dex – has achieved an overall response rate of 98 percent in 42 patients evaluated thus far in a Phase 1-2 trial, said Paul Richardson, MD, of Dana-Farber and the study’s principal investigator. He added that 52 percent of the patients had high quality responses (very good partial response or better), with 30 percent achieving complete response to date.

“These may be some of the best response rates we’ve seen to date with up-front therapies, and although these are preliminary results, they are extremely promising,” Richardson said. The patients were previously untreated when they received the Rev/Vel/Dex combination.

Velcade is a “smart” drug known as a proteasome inhibitor that blocks the myeloma cells’ waste disposal system, creating an accumulation of toxic compounds that poison the cell. Revlimid is a chemical relative of thalidomide that affects several pathways in cancer cells, including immune mechanisms and blood vessel growth to tumors. Dexamethasone is a steroid hormone that counters inflammation and is used to treat hematologic malignancies such as myeloma. Studies leading to the trial of the three drugs in combination were carried out at Dana-Farber.

The findings are expected to offer much-awaited relief to patients with multiple myeloma, who have been expecting an effective treatment methodology for the last many years.