Revlimid data presented at ASCO stands to change the way physicians treat multiple myeloma

Tampa, FL -- (June 4, 2007) -- Findings from a Phase III study by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG 4A03) were presented yesterday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago and demonstrate the benefits of using Revlimid (lenalidomide) with reduced doses of the steroid dexamethasone. Based upon these data, the U.S. Myeloma Forum, a committee of leading myeloma researchers including Dr. Mohamad Hussein, Clinical Director of the Malignant Hematology Division & Head of Myeloma Section at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, met to discuss and develop plans for further medical studies.

At the meeting, which was organized by the International Myeloma Foundation, the researchers approved plans to study novel therapeutic options for newly diagnosed myeloma patients, without first offering bone marrow (stem cell) transplants that have been the standard of care up until now.

"Because of the strong one-year survival data seen in the ECOG trial, we think there is a need to continue to evaluate novel treatment options. The development of new therapeutic agents which are very effective combined with the model of changing myeloma into a chronic disease process is making us rethink our traditional treatment paradigm, where therapy is decided on if or if not the patient qualifies for high dose therapy and bone marrow (stem cell) transplant. With the current knowledge of disease biology and new effective therapy with a large safety margin, the myeloma community is able to reorganize the role of transplant in patients with multiple myeloma," said Dr. Hussein, "Stem cell harvest and saving after inducing response/remission should be the standard in all patients not receiving transplant to allow for this option as our knowledge advances. Oral therapies as first-line treatment would be a major advance in how we care for myeloma patients."

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