BY GREG BROZEIT The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an expert panel that develops standard-of-care guidelines for practicing physicians, announced unprecedented recommendations for the treatment of myeloma. Dr. Ken Anderson, chair of the NCCN myeloma panel, told Medscape Medical News that certain patients with smoldering myeloma who “do not have the so-called CRAB features” would “not have to wait” for treatment and physicians could “start to treat those patients sooner.” More importantly for patients with active myeloma, NCCN increased the number of therapy so that they, according to Anderson, “can benefit from our novel treatments.” Drug combinations including panobinostat, carfilzomib, ixazomib, and the newly approved monoclonal antibodies elotuzumab and daratumumab are now all recommended for use in relapsed and refractory patients. NCCN also expanded the commonly used staging criteria to include patients with high-risk disease features. “The NCCN Guidelines underscore how far we have come in treating myeloma,” said Myeloma Crowd founder Jenny Ahlstrom. “They contain the most accessible, comprehensive information about myeloma treatment for patients and practicing physicians and the NCCN myeloma panel’s decisions prove that the age of novel therapies and the possibility of prevention has arrived. We should expect the addition of many more options in future editions of the Guidelines,” said Ahlstrom. In the introduction to the NCCN Guidelines, the authors caution readers, “Don’t be discouraged as you read.” For the myeloma community, the new publication provides great encouragement and reasonable hope for a much brighter future. Find Smoldering Myeloma Clinical Trials
about the author
Greg Brozeit has been engaged in myeloma patient advocacy since 1998. He began working with the Myeloma Crowd in 2015. Prior to that, he consulted with Dr. Bart Barlogie at the University of Arkansas after working with the International Myeloma Foundation for 15 years, where he inaugurated the public policy advocacy program, patient support group outreach and IMF Europe, organizing more than 100 physician and patient education programs. He earned his BA in political science from Loyola University in New Orleans and lives in northeast Ohio.