The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) — supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians — today said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment option for myeloma patients who have relapsed or who have not responded to at least one other course of treatments.
The combination of Doxil(R) with Velcade(R) provides nearly a three month improvement in time to disease progression as compared to Velcade alone, which is a 43% improvement in response according to a phase III multi-national clinical trial.”This is an important new combination for patients, especially those with resistant myeloma, because of the Velcade/Doxil synergy — Velcade increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to Doxil and Doxil does the same for Velcade,” said Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., chairman and co-founder of the IMF. “The growing success treating myeloma and extending patients’ lives is due in large part to new drugs that can be used in combination and in sequence, and the approval of the new Velcade/Doxil combination fits perfectly into that strategy.”Doxil is a specially (liposomal) formulated version of the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin, and is approved for use in other forms of cancer. Velcade, bortezomib, is approved for myeloma patients who have relapsed or not responded to a previous course of treatment. The Velcade/Doxil may be used with or without steroids providing patients with a steroid-free alternative.Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. It affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide, and in industrialized countries it is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people.(Source: International Myeloma Foundation: US Food and Drug Administration : June 2007.)