Neoplasms of the blood and lymphoid tissue are often classified into the 4 broad categories of leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma, and account for approximately 9% of all cancers. As a group, hematologic malignancies are the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and in women in the economically developed world.

Stockholm, Sweden—A joint session of the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) was held during the 18th Annual Congress of EHA on June 15, 2013. Ulrich Jäger, MD, President of EHA and Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, President of ASH and University of Washington, Seattle, moderated a well-attended plenary session titled, “Challenges Associated with Delivering Cancer Care in Times of Economic Crisis.”

Chicago, IL—Advances in the understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma (MM) and the identification of new drugs have resulted in improved management of MM, including for patients who are refractory to proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents.

At the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, Donna E. Reece, MD, Site Group Medical Lead, Myeloma Clinic, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, discussed updated approaches to initial therapy.

Chicago, IL—The updated survival analysis of the phase 3 MM-03 trial of pomalidomide (Pomalyst) plus low-dose dexamethasone upheld the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benefit of this regimen in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, study investigators reported at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Chicago, IL—The final results of the phase 1 study of the oral investigational proteasome inhibitor MLN9708 (ixazomib), given as a single agent to patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), were reported by Shaji K. Kumar, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Many presentations at the 18th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) addressed the topic of multiple myeloma (MM). The following description is a brief summary of key data related to this tumor type.

Ixazomib (MLN9708) plus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone in Older Patients with Newly Diagnosed MM

Chicago, IL—The topic of multiple myeloma was addressed in many presentations at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The following is a brief description of some of the key presentation related to this disease state.

Chicago, IL—Of special significance for patients with multiple myeloma who are not properly responding to current therapies, the novel immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) pomalidomide showed strong activity in phase 2 trials reported at the 2012 ASCO meeting.

Transitioning from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) bortezomib improves efficiencies within the clinic and could also provide a more satisfactory experience for patients with multiple myeloma, reported investigators from Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, in a new, late-breaking study published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology for its 2012 annual meeting (J Clin Oncol. 2012 [30 suppl]:e18553).

Chicago, IL—The first oral proteasome inhibitor to enter clinical investigation in myeloma is MLN9708. The current data from a phase 1 study presented at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting suggested that MLN9708 encourages disease control and durability of responses in a heavily pretreated population with multiple myeloma.

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