Improving Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma

March 19, 2020

Dear Reader,

Dear Reader,

The oncology treatment landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and nowhere is that evolution more apparent than in the field of hematologic malignancies and multiple myeloma. In this issue of ONCOLOGY, we spoke with Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, program director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, about the current trends in multiple myeloma treatment and the novel therapies that are providing better and more durable outcomes, and allowing patients to live more meaningful lives. “It is said that patients’ survival [has] improved at least 3- to 4-fold,” Anderson said about the impact of these therapies. “That is a conservative estimate, because many patients on maintenance therapy truly do have myeloma as a chronic illness and grow old and die of something else.”

While Anderson talks enthusiastically about the treatment breakthroughs happening right now, he also raves about those that are yet to come. “I think there is literally a revolution in terms of novel therapies for hematologic malignancies, and that includes the leukemias, lymphomas, [and] multiple myelomas. Multiple new targeted agents, [many] new immune agents, and especially CAR T cells… are being tested in all 3 [hematologic malignancies,” he notes.

Also in this issue, we feature 2 review articles. The first discusses the increased incidence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in patients with solid tumors, a condition which arises due to immunosuppression caused by chemotherapy regimens and the use of corticosteroids to manage their complications. Our second review looks at the rapidly growing use of checkpoint inhibitors in oncology, and the possible underlying factors within the gut microbiome and tumor microenvironment which lead to treatment success or failure.

For this month’s clinical quandary, you will read about the case of a 64-year-old woman with hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after liver transplantation. What is her best treatment option? Read on to find out.

Within these pages, you will also find highlights from the 17th Annual Winter Lung Cancer Conference® and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 25th Annual Winter Meeting.

I hope you find our journal helpful in caring for your patients through what is likely one of the most challenging times in their lives. As always, thank you for reading.