“Healing resistant multiple myeloma is becoming a reality. We are not very far from eradicating a disease that is curable for many years, but not yet curable.” So Paolo Corradini, director of the Hematology Division, Irccs Foundation National Cancer Institute of Milan, full professor of Hematology at the University of Milan, on the occasion of the event ‘The archipelago of Melanoma’, promoted by Sanofi, to which they Aurelio Luglio also participated, director of Ail-Associazione against leukemia, lymphomas and myeloma, Bologna section, and Marcello Cattani, president and CEO of Sanofi Italia.
During the debate, Corradini stressed the importance of “being able to have a new treatment that includes isatixumab, a drug recently available in Italy, which has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of progression or death compared to the standard of care in frail patients who they have already had two relapses and are resistant and refractory to treatment “.
Multiple myeloma is a blood disorder that mainly affects the elderly (the average age at diagnosis is 69 years) and tends to recur in 9 out of 10 cases. It is estimated that there are around 39,000 new diagnoses in Europe every year. In Italy, according to the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom), from 2014 to 2019 cases increased by 9%, from 5,200 to 5,700.
“Multiple myeloma is the second onco-haematological pathology by diffusion – recalled Corradini – In the last 10 years, however, research has introduced important changes: it is in fact the blood cancer for which there have been the greatest advances in terms of treatment. and increased survival “. The latest novelty in therapy is isatuximab, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the CD-38 receptor of cancer cells, which is administered intravenously in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone (pom-dex) to adult patients who have received at least two previous treatments and which showed disease progression during the last therapy. In the Icaria-MM clinical trial, the combination of the three drugs, currently unique, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of disease progression or death compared to the pom-dex regimen alone, even in patients over 75 with renal insufficiency.
In the last twenty years, the life expectancy of these patients has gone “from a few months to 7 years, so it is important that the treatments are well tolerated”, concluded Corradini.
“Isatuximab – reads a note from Sanofi – is at the center of an extensive clinical development program that foresees the advancement of its use also on the front line, at the time of diagnosis”.