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NCI Cancer Center News

UNC study shows benefit of new maintenance therapy for multiple myeloma

  • Posted: May 14, 2012

...Thomas Shea, MD, Director of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program and Associate Director for Outreach Programs at UNC Lineberger and Don Gabriel, MD, Professor of Medicine in the division of hematology/oncology, were both co-authors on the clinical trial, which measured the effect of maintenance lenalidomide therapy on disease-free progression after transplant.

The phase 3 study demonstrated that maintenance therapy with lenalidomide, an oral drug that can be taken for many months or even years, is associated with significant improvement in outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who have undergone a transplant. The probability of surviving free of disease progression (the primary end point) for three years was 59 percent in the lenalidomide group, as compared with 35 percent in the placebo group.

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