Recent Clinical Trials Highlight Potential of Targeted Therapies for Multiple Myeloma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

According to a story from PR Newswire, the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology has been generating a lot of press lately as many groundbreaking studies, research, and clinical trials have been brought into public awareness during the event. Amongst all of this research are three studies which highlight the capabilities of targeted therapies in treating the blood cancers multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, which is occasionally referred to as plasma cell myeloma, is a blood cancer that affects plasma cells. These are white blood cells that produce antibodies. Symptoms of this cancer include bone pain, infections, anemia, kidney failure, overly thick blood, confusion, fatigue, headaches, and amyloidosis. Treatment includes chemo, stem cell transplant, and other medications for relapsed disease, which is common. To learn more about multiple myeloma, click here.

About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a form of blood cancer which affects lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. The disease may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include fever, anemia, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and fatigue. It is also possible for this disease to transform into a more aggressive and faster progressing type of blood cancer like Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To learn more about chronic lymphocytic leukemia, click here.

Ibrutinib in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

One study highlights the superior effectiveness of the targeted therapy ibrutinib in combination with rituximab has a more effective treatment standard in younger patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Typically, patients under 70 are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and rituximab, but the researchers found that ibrutinib + rituximab produced a reduced risk in disease progression by comparison. Overall survival rate for patients was also improved. 

Daratumumab in Multiple Myeloma

Another study found that the addition of the immunotherapy daratumumab was also capable of producing a longer period of progression free survival for patients with multiple myeloma that cannot be treated with stem cell transplant. The typical combination therapy for this indication, which includes dexamethasone and lenalidomide, was significantly enhanced by the addition of this drug.

Venetoclax and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

In a third study, researchers were able to find a mutation of the BCL2 protein was responsible for why the targeted therapy venetoclax eventually stops working for some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

All of these findings have major implications for how targeted therapies can be utilized for these diseases in the future.


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