Prioritizing the search for new drugs to achieve a permanent remission

In the two weeks since we lost one of our most beloved patients, our inability to cure myeloma has been staring us in the face.  It was absolutely wonderful that Mike Katz lived 25 years after his initial diagnosis. But we need decisively better drugs to achieve our goal of permanent remission. Until we cure myeloma, the extensions of life we achieve are only as good as the next new drug emerging from around that next corner.

Where Do New Drugs Come From?

In preparing for my “Best of ASH 2014” presentation, I noted there were plenty of new drug presentations, but not as many as were presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in 2013.

Surprise rejection of panobinostat for approval by 5-2 margin at ODAC Hearing

Today's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) hearing convened in an optimistic fashion with many in the myeloma community expecting there would be a recommendation for approval of panobinostat, an HDAC inhibitor used in combination with Velcade and dexamethasone. Publicly available data indicated a 3.9 months progression-free survival (PFS) or remission duration benefit with the three-drug panobinostat combination in patients who had been treated with 1-3 prior therapies.