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Tag Archives: leonard minuk

Access to Thalidomide for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma in Canada

Multiple myleoma stain. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Summary by Dr. Leonard Minuk

Multiple myeloma is an incurable plasma cell neoplasm that is characterized by multiple relapses requiring many lines of therapy to maintain disease control. Therapy has dramatically changed over the last 10 years to include multiple novel agents (such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib) as well as autologous stem cell transplantation, improving outcomes but also increasing the cost and complexity of treatment …

Current standard treatment is divided mainly according to age. Patients who are 65 are treated with standard melphalan and prednisone with the addition of either thalidomide (MPT regimen) or bortezomib (VMP regimen). Relapsed disease is managed with thalidomide, bortezomib, lenalidomide, or alkylating agents, often in combination with steroids. There is much debate and ongoing research into the appropriate sequencing and combination of these various drugs.

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