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Thursday, May 17, 2012

ASCO Annual Meeting

The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) holds its 2012 annual meeting June 1-5 in Chicago.  This meeting, along with the ASH Annual Meeting in December, is a primary showcase for publishing advances in cancer research, including Multiple Myeloma.  The abstracts for this year's ASCO meeting were posted online yesterday.  Naturally I was curious, so I checked them out.  For anyone interested, the website listing the myeloma related abstracts is:

As expected, there are several papers on the MLN9708 clinical trials.  Unfortunately, the abstracts for this conference were submitted last December, so no new results are available for my MLN9708 clinical trial beyond what I reported on in my post of Dec. 14, 2011.  Dr. Richardson will be presenting updated results for this trial at the meeting, so I will report on them after his presentation.

Looking at the other MM presentations, I was impressed with some of the excellent results coming from some of the other clinical trials, particularly, the carfilzomib trials.  This proteasome inhibitor is a potential replacement for Velcade, without the peripheral neuropathy side effects of Velcade.  The clinical results so far compare favorably to Velcade, and the FDA seems poised to approve this drug soon.  Onyx Pharmaceuticals has already chosen the trade name Kyprolis for carfilzomib (only slightly more pronounceable), anticipating an early approval from the FDA.

Good results will also be presented for pomalidomide, a potential replacement for Revlimid that also is on a good track for FDA approval sometime in the foreseeable future.  Clinical results for other promising new MM therapies, such as elotuzomab, will be presented as well.  I plan to track this conference and share any new breakthrough information that comes from these presentations.  Stay tuned.

Every day, I have to take a formidable array of prescription drugs and supplements to keep this disease, treatment side effects, and potential complications under control.  Here is a picture of the pills I laid out on the counter this morning, including my normal blood pressure and cholesterol meds.  I actually have several more supplements that I can take, but these are already enough to choke a horse.  Hey, as long as they keep working, I have no problem with this.

I was thinking of having a contest.  Whoever can correctly identify all these pills would get a free hard-bound copy of the Merck Index, along with an all-expense-paid trip from anywhere in the Boston area to the world-renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute, including free parking and lunch at the cafeteria. I could show the winner around, since I know the place so well.


  1. Velcade, Thalomid, Revlimid, melphalan, prednisone. And....all the other ones I have no idea. WOW!

    Marilyn (New York)

  2. The interesting thing is that not one of those pills is an actual medication for the myeloma. I don't start taking those (Revlimid and dexamethasone) until next week.

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