Velcade Improves Survival with Multiple Myeloma

Posted on December 16th, 2011 by

Final results from the VISTA trial demonstrate that the addition of Velcade® (bortezomib) to melphalan and prednisone substantially improves overall survival among patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma. These results were presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are a special type of white blood cell that are part of the body’s immune system. Plasma cells normally live in the bone marrow and make proteins, called antibodies, which circulate in the blood and help fight certain types of infections. Plasma cells also play a role in the maintenance of bone by secretion of a hormone called osteoclast activating factor, which causes the breakdown of bone. Patients with multiple myeloma have increased numbers of abnormal plasma cells that may produce increased quantities of dysfunctional antibodies detectable in the blood and/or urine. These abnormal antibodies are referred to as paraproteins or monoclonal proteins in the blood (M proteins) or urine (Bence Jones protein).

Velcade is the first in a new class of anticancer agents known as proteasome inhibitors. It’s been shown to provide benefits in the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.

The VISTA study is an international Phase III clinical trial. The study involved 655 previously untreated multiple myeloma patients who were ineligible for stem cell transplantation. Patients were assigned to receive treatment with melphalan and prednisone alone (MP) or in combination with Velcade (VMP). Patients have now been followed for five years.

  • The addition of Velcade improved overall survival by more than 13 months: overall survival was 56.4 months among patients treated with VMP and 43.1 months among patients treated with MP.
  • Neither treatment group had an increased risk of second cancers compared with the general population.

These results suggest that the addition of Velcade to melphalan and prednisone improves overall survival among patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma who are not eligible for stem cell transplantation.

Reference: San Miguel JF, Schlag R, Khuageva NK et al. Continued overall survival benefit after 5 years’ follow-up with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) versus melphalan-prednisone (MP) in patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma, and no increased risk of second primary malignancies: final results of the phase 3 VISTA trial. Presented at the 53rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition. San Diego, CA, December 10-13, 2011. Abstract 476.

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Tags: Multiple Myeloma, News, Stages II-III Multiple Myeloma

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