Multiple myeloma is a multi-process disease, and these different processes are responsible for the reduced sensitivity to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, hence the relapse and refractory nature of multiple myeloma. Emphasis is now placed on the hypothesis that myeloma cell growth, inhibition of apoptosis and drug resistance are dependent on immunomodulatory cytokines such as IL-6 and pro-angiogenic factors such as VEGF. In addition to its anti-angiogenic effects, the immunomodulatory properties of thalidomide make it a possible therapy for patients with advanced multiple myeloma. This has lead to the clinical development of a number of immunomodulatory thalidomide analogues (IMiDs) which are more potent and have less side effects than the parent drug, thalidomide. In the August 15th issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology, Schey SA et al. suggested that an IMiD (CC-4047) maybe efficacious due to T-cell co-stimulation, and safe in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. This article demonstrates a supporting role for IMiDs as immunomodulatory adjuvant therapy.
- Multiple myeloma