New Therapies Approved for Multiple Myeloma

Yvette C. Terrie, BS Pharm, RPh

Disclosures

US Pharmacist. 2016;41(10):HS-2-HS-7. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Multiple myeloma (MM) accounts for approximately 1% of all cancers and 10% of all hematologic malignant disorders. MM occurs slightly more often in men than in women, and it is twice as common in African American persons compared with white persons. The median age at diagnosis is approximately 65 years. Although MM is incurable, several treatments are available, and the last two decades have seen great progress in understanding the biology and treatment of MM. Pharmacologic agents approved over the last 15 years for the treatment of MM have markedly improved patient outcomes. In 2015, the FDA approved four novel agents—panobinostat, ixazomib, elotuzumab, and daratumumab—for the treatment of relapsed MM, potentially offering the hope of improved survival.

Introduction

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant neoplasm that affects the plasma cells in the bone marrow, resulting in bone destruction and marrow failure.[1] The characteristic clinical manifestations of MM include bone pain from lytic lesions or osteoporosis, skeletal destruction, anemia, renal insufficiency, hypercalcemia, immunodeficiency, and increased vulnerability to infection.[1–3] As MM progresses, the cancer cells accumulate in the bone marrow, causing painful bone lesions and preventing normal blood cell production.[4–6] MM accounts for an estimated 1% of all cancers and 10% of all hematologic malignant disorders.[1,7,8] The American Cancer Society has estimated that 30,330 new cases of MM would be diagnosed and 12,650 deaths from MM would occur in 2016.[9,10] MM is slightly more prevalent in men than in women, and its occurrence is twice as common in African American persons compared with white persons. The median age at diagnosis is approximately 65 years, and about 2% of MM cases are diagnosed in persons aged <40 years.[11–13]

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