Further FDA clinical trial holds may signal the end for checkpoint inhibitors in myeloma

With the placement of two more checkpoint inhibitor combination trials on partial hold, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now halted all such trials from four different pharmaceutical companies: Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, and now Roche.  Roche and its subsidiary Genentech announced that the agency has placed a partial hold on two trials that combine atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) with lenalidomide (Revlimid®) or pomalidomide (Pomalyst®) to treat relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Closing or Halting of Myeloma Immune Therapy Trials: A Major Setback for Patients and Drug Companies

When the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted three Keytruda (pembrolizumab) clinical trials recently because of unexpected deaths, it was cause for concern. This week, the FDA has acted to close further studies involving the whole range of PD-1/ PD-L1 inhibitors combined with the IMiDs Revlimid (lenalidomide) and Pomalyst (pomalidomide) in order to forestall any further unexpected toxicities and/or deaths.

Myeloma Moonshot: The IMF’s Data-Driven Approach Already a Proven Success

Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Summit last week brought the search for a cure back into the news with the announcement of the “shared data initiative.”  Some myeloma patients have asked, “Can the IMF benefit from this approach?”  What they may not realize is that we’ve been sharing data all along! The IMF’s International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) has been gathering and sharing data from all major myeloma institutions globally for more than a decade. And our Black Swan Research Initiative®, launched in 2012, is actively sharing data on our path to find the cure.

Black Swan Research Initiative® Update

The Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) is on the brink of several key steps forward, I am happy to report.  Great progress has already been made.

Myeloma immune therapy emerges as a key theme at ASCO 2015

The 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is almost upon us. It is being held in Chicago from May 29th to June 2nd. This year, approximately 100 abstracts will focus on myeloma. Thus, although many fewer than at the annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), several abstracts of importance to the myeloma community will be presented in Chicago.