Author | Irene M. Ghobrial, MD


MGUS and Smoldering Myeloma: the Most Prevalent of Plasma Cell Dyscrasias

June 14, 2011

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is the most prevalent of the plasma cell dyscrasias and is characterized by a low level of production of serum monoclonal (M) protein (classically less than 3 g/dL).

Tailoring Treatment for Multiple Myeloma Patients With Relapsed and Refractory Disease

March 16, 2010

Responses to treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma are characteristically short, and median survival is as brief as 6 months. Although prognostic factors in the context of relapsed and refractory disease require further characterization, high-risk patients include those with certain cytogenetic abnormalities, high β2-microglobulin, and low serum albumin.

Novel Therapeutic Avenues in Myeloma: Changing the Treatment Paradigm

June 01, 2007

Our better understanding of the complex interaction of multiple myeloma (MM) cells with their bone marrow microenvironment and the signaling pathways that are dysregulated in this process has resulted in a dramatic increase in the therapeutic agents available for this disease. A number of these new agents have demonstrated significant activity in patients with MM. Over the past 5 years, three drugs have received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for therapy in MM—bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide. To date, the choice of therapy for MM is not individualized according to the biologic characteristics of the disease, but future studies should enable us to identify patients who may benefit most from certain therapeutic interventions, and thus develop individualized therapy for MM. In this review, we will present some of the treatment algorithms currently developed for patients with MM and focus on established advances in therapy, specifically with thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide. We will also discuss some of the emerging novel therapeutic agents showing promise in phase I/II clinical trials in MM.

Radioimmunotherapy: A New Treatment Modality for B-Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

May 01, 2004

The field of radioimmunotherapy for the treatment of non-Hodgkin'slymphoma (NHL) has advanced significantly over the past decade, andseveral radioimmunoconjugates are being tested in clinical trials. Twoof these antibodies target CD20: yttrium-90 (Y-90)-labeled ibritumomabtiuxetan (Zevalin) and tositumomab/iodine-131 (I-131)-labeledtositumomab (Bexxar). Other agents target either CD22 (Y-90epratuzumab) or human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR (I-131 Lym-1),respectively. In February 2002, Y-90-labeled ibritumomab tiuxetanbecame the first radioimmunoconjugate to be approved by the US Foodand Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer.Tositumomab/I-131 tositumomab was approved in June 2003. Thus,two radioimmunoconjugates have been approved for the treatment ofNHL. Both agents, when administered as a single dose, have producedimpressive tumor response rates with an acceptable toxicity profile. Themain side effect is reversible myelosuppression. Radioimmunotherapyproduces overall response rates of approximately 80% in patients withlow-grade lymphomas, and 25% to 30% of patients achieve a completeremission. Lower response rates (approximately 40%) have been reportedin patients with large-cell lymphomas. This review discusses theclinical trials of radioimmunotherapeutic agents for NHL that demonstratedtheir safety and efficacy and outlines the current status of theseagents.