SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 4, 2012. A four-drug combination of chemotherapy drugs scored high marks as a highly effective treatment for patients newly diagnosed with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, according to results from a Mayo Clinic-led study. The multidrug regimen, called CYCLONE (comprised of Cyclophosphamide, Carfilzomib, Thalidomide and Dexamethasone), boasted strong results in the phase II trial, most notably for how quickly and effectively it worked and how well tolerated it was by the study recipients.
VIDEO ALERT: click here for footage of Dr. Mikhael.
"Within only four cycles of treatment, 96 percent of patients responded favorably to the therapy," says lead researcher Joseph Mikhael, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Furthermore, 75 percent experienced a very good partial remission — meaning there was a 90 percent reduction of their tumor. A third of the patients experienced a complete remission, where the tumor was no longer detectable."
Dr. Mikhael is presenting the study at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.
The study participants also experienced fewer side effects compared to currently available therapies, Dr. Mikhael adds. Side effects associated with multiple myeloma treatment typically involve the nerves of the body, and include numbness, tingling and pain. The American Cancer Society projects 21,700 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed this year. Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the plasma cells, found within the bone marrow.
Abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiply in the bone marrow, resulting in fewer healthy blood cells. These abnormal plasma cells also produce an abnormal protein known as a monoclonal, or M protein, that can cause bone fractures and damage organs, especially the kidneys.
Patients are typically treated with chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant.
Dr. Mikhael says the next step of the trial is to increase the dosage of Carfilzomib to attempt an even deeper response with limited side effects.
The CYCLONE study, funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals (the maker of Carfilzomib) also included researchers from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; and the Medical University of South Carolina.
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.
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Media Contact: Julie Janovsky-Mason, Public Affairs, 480-301-4222