News from Illinois CancerCare

Research Update: Lenalidomide Has Significant Impact on Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

Results from clinical research trial E3A06 show that treatment with Lenalidomide significantly lowers the risk of disease worsening from smoldering multiple myeloma to active multiple myeloma in intermediate and high-risk patients. Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is an early, precancerous form of multiple myeloma (MM). The risk of SMM progressing to MM increases over time and occurs sooner for intermediate and high-risk patients (2-5 years from diagnosis).

Participants in clinical trial E3A06 received either Lenalidomide or the current standard treatment – observation only.  The research data revealed that treatment with Lenalidomide significantly slowed the worsening of the patient’s smoldering multiple myeloma. At the 3-year mark, 91% of the SMM patients that received Lenalidomide on the clinical trial did not progress to active multiple myeloma compared to only 66% of the observation patients. “This is one more step in deciding whether to treat smoldering multiple myeloma patients with mild treatment or a full dose regimen,” said Michael Veeder, MD, Illinois CancerCare’s lead physician for Multiple Myeloma. “Additional studies will determine the best balance between long term remissions or even hopefully cures and the toxicities of therapy.”

Illinois CancerCare’s patients continue to contribute to practice changing research through their participation in clinical trials! Research trials are at the heart of all medical advances and are essential to improving care for all patients. A full listing of clinical research trials is available here.