A new drug is offering hope to blood cancer sufferers who have been treated unsuccessfully with other therapies after a study found it was both effective and well-tolerated.
Clinical trials of Revlimid, also called lenalidomide, saw 26% of relapsed refractory multiple myeloma patients achieve complete or partial remission without having to use any other treatments.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of one of the immune cells that affects production of red cells, white cells and platelets in the blood.
Some 66% of patients tested, all of whom has been treated with one or more therapies previously, saw their disease stabilise.
On average, patients put on the immune modulator drug in the trial lived a further 1.9 years and 41% were still alive after three years, the Moffitt Cancer Center said.
A meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology heard that before this therapy, which can be taken orally, the average overall survival was less than a year.
Dr Mohamad Hussein said: “This study demonstrates that Revlimid is effective in treating patients in which other therapies have failed, without complimentary steroids or chemotherapy that can potentially cause serious side effects.”
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