New developments in the management and treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients

Niels W C J van de Donk, Henk M Lokhorst
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2013, 14 (12): 1569-73

INTRODUCTION: The introduction of autologous stem cell transplantation as well as novel agents such as proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib) and immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs; thalidomide and lenalidomide) have significantly improved long-term outcome of multiple myeloma patients. However, patients with high-risk disease at diagnosis had less benefit from these new strategies. In addition, myeloma patients with lenalidomide and bortezomib double-refractory disease have a very poor survival.

AREAS COVERED: Several next generation novel agents are active in patients with double-refractory disease including carfilzomib and pomalidomide. Various monoclonal antibodies are also promising in the setting of relapsed/refractory disease, including daratumumab, elotuzumab and lorvotuzumab mertansine. This editorial will focus on the most promising next generation novel agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

EXPERT OPINION: Incorporation of these new novel agents in frontline therapies will lead to more effective and less toxic combination therapies. Furthermore, new diagnostic techniques such as gene-expression profiling and next-generation sequencing will hopefully result in more personalized treatments for molecularly-defined subgroups.

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