Drug Therapies Brought to Market.
By creating opportunities for team science, we have accelerated medical breakthroughs and extended lives. While there are currently many exciting clinical trials, six drugs in four classes have been approved to date — in the time it usually takes to get one drug FDA approved.
Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs)
IMIDs work against cancer cells partly by impacting the functioning of the immune system.
Revlimid is an oral medication that is effective across the spectrum of myeloma disease. It works in multiple ways to slow or kill myeloma cells, although the exact mechanism of action is not completely understood. It directly affects the tumor cells and is also known to affect the blood vessels and other substances surrounding a tumor which help to feed the cancer cell’s growth. Although it can be used alone, it is usually used in combination with dexamethasone Learn more.
Pomalyst is a newer IMiD that is similar to Revlimid but is more potent. In the United States, Pomalyst is approved for the use in patients with myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies, including Velcade® (bortezomib) and Revlimid® (lenalidomide) and who have demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy. It is being studied in other types of patients. Learn more.
Originally developed in the 1950s as a treatment for insomnia and morning sickness, in 1999 Thalomid was shown to be highly active against myeloma and was considered to be the first new agent with major activity against myeloma in more than 30 years. It is effective across the spectrum of myeloma disease. Learn more.
Proteasomes are enzymes found in cells that play an important role in regulating cell function and cell growth by controlling the breakdown of important enzymes. Proteasome inhibitors block the activity of proteasomes and in turn disrupt processes related to the growth and survival of cancer cells.
Velcade is administered intravenously or subcutaneously and is used across the entire spectrum of myeloma disease. It inhibits the growth and survival of myeloma cells, leading to cell death. Data also suggest that Velcade may significantly improve bone disease in myeloma patients Learn more.
Krypolis is a newer proteasome inhibitor given intravenously. It is FDA approved for use in patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma and is being studied in other types of patients. In addition, Krypolis has been shown to be effective in patients with high-risk tumors with associated DNA abnormalities, those with a history of previous neuropathy, and patients older than 65. Learn more.
Conventional chemotherapy is designed to destroy myeloma cells.
Doxil® (doxorubicin HCl liposome injection)
Doxil is a reformulated version of doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), a cancer drug that has been used for many years in traditional chemotherapy regimens. It is typically used together with other anticancer agents. Learn more.
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation
Stem cells are collected from the patient or a donor. The patient receives higher doses of chemotherapy, usually melphalan, followed by transplantation of blood-producing stem cells to replace healthy cells damaged by the chemotherapy. Learn more.