Adding to the Therapy Arsenal

Jack Aiello enthusiastically discusses the additions of newer medicines that were FDA approved in 2015, and why patients need to be aware of them.

I've been diagnosed 21 years with myeloma and there's never been a more exciting year than 2015. We had a drug approved earlier in February, panobinostat, and then three in November. You're right Sam, that there have been an incredible number of new drugs out there, which means patients need to pay attention to them.

It gives us more options as patients because some of the drugs have been developed for brand new treatment categories, which means that proteasome inhibitors and IMiDs that we use and have been effective, it may be that one of the new treatments categories ‑‑ monoclonal antibodies, for example ‑‑ will be added to it and give us a more effective arsenal.

At the same time, these drugs have been approved for certain types of usage. All have been approved for patients who've had previous therapies. Some have been approved to be combined with other drugs.

That's one of the reasons we expect to hear a lot at ASH is trials are still going on with these drugs to expand those approvals, so that they become approved for newly diagnosed patients, or get approved in a maintenance role and such.

Patients need to keep on top of what the approvals mean to them, and I hope their doctor knows all about them as well.


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