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New Study of Pamidronate in Multiple Myeloma

New Study of Pamidronate in Multiple Myeloma

LOS ANGELES—The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center is seeking 21 patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma to participate in a phase II clinical trial of pamidronate disodium for injection (Aredia).

Pamidronate is indicated, in conjunction with standard antimyeloma chemotherapy, for the treatment of osteolytic bone lesions of multiple myeloma and osteolytic metastases of breast cancer. The agent, a bisphosphonate, inhibits bone resorption induced by osteoclasts. In this new study, pamidronate will be given more frequently and at higher doses than in previous clinical trials.

“There are a limited number of therapies available to treat this form of bone marrow cancer,” said James Berenson, MD, professor of medicine, UCLA, and chief of medical oncology, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Pamidronate has been shown to reduce skeletal events in multiple myeloma and breast cancer patients with osteolytic metastases, he said, and now recent laboratory studies suggest that the drug “may have an impact on the cancer itself.”

Prolonged Survival in Subset

In a phase II study of 392 patients also receiving chemotherapy, prolonged survival was seen in the subset of patients who had failed chemotherapy prior to study entry. In this subgroup, median survival was 21 months with pamidronate vs 14 months for those on placebo.

Study participants must be at least 18 years of age with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. They will be treated for 6 months or until there is evidence of disease progression. Physicians interested in referring a patient may call Dr. Berenson at 310-268-3622.

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