This Drug is Prolonging Advanced Multiple Myeloma Patients’ Lives

An ongoing clinical trial called ARROW is making advances in the treatment of people with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Patients who took a dose of a drug called Kyprolis (carfilzomib) once a week lived about 3.6 months longer without the disease progressing than patients taking the drug twice a week.

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that forms in the body’s plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell. The cancer cells accumulate in the bone morrow and push out healthy blood cells. Kyprolis, a drug developed by the company Amgen, is a proteasome inhibitor, which is one of the primary classes of drug used to treat multiple myeloma. The inhibitor encourages the buildup of faulty proteins inside cells, which kills them.

All 478 patients participating in the trial had relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and had already undergone two or three lines of therapy, which contained both a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent. Immunomodulatory agents are drugs that modify the immune response to malignant diseases. Both the once- and twice-weekly regimens also included the use of dexamethasone, a steroid that works to treat inflammation.

Patients were randomly selected to take the once a week, 70 mg/mdose of Kyprolis with dexamethasone, or the twice a week level with a 27 mg/m2 dose plus dexamethasone.

The primary results showed that patients on the once a week regimen lived a significant amount longer without their disease progressing than those taking the Kyprolis twice a week. This showed a difference of 31%.

There were some adverse effects in 20% of the participating patients, including anemia, fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and fever.

The main goal of this trial is to figure out the time to disease progression of death. Those conducting the study will continue collecting data until June 2019, while the trial will conclude in December of the same year.

Read more about the trial here!

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