Melphalan or No Melphalan: That Is the Question
October 15, 2010
Clinical outcomes data for all of oncology include those from trial after trial demonstrating poor outcomes in older patients with cancer. Whether these are the result of limited biologic reserve, poor performance status, or inherently worse biological disease at the time of diagnosis, such age-based disparities have continued unabated for decades. However, for the first time, older patients with multiple myeloma (MM) are starting to enjoy the kinds of remission durations and overall survival (OS) seen in younger patients. In this review by Dr. Harousseau, we see that through the use of regimens such as MPV (melphalan and prednisone plus bortezomib), MPT (melphalan and prednisone plus thalidomide), MPR (melphalan and prednisone plus lenalidomide), VMPT (bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide), and Rd (lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone), we can begin to provide older patients with MM with a median OS approaching the 4- to 5-year mark-a far cry from the median OS of 2.5 to 3 years seen with MP just 15 years ago. So what are the remaining hurdles and challenges to be addressed in the upcoming 10 years?