New Drug Fusion Expected to Benefit Multiple Myeloma Blood Cancer Patients

Multiple Myeloma

A pharmaceutical now licensed for leukemia can assist people with multiple myeloma when combined with another therapy, according to new Irish research.

This revelation opens up new avenues of treatment for the currently incurable condition.

Every year, approximately 400 people in Ireland are newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM), a type of blood cancer. Despite recent breakthroughs in treatment, the condition is still incurable.

The hunt for novel therapeutic options is critical, especially for individuals whose cancer is resistant to conventional treatments.

In a new study published in Haematologica, researchers from the RCSI Department of Physiology and Medical Physics and the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre sought to uncover supplementary medications that could improve the efficacy of Venetolax, a drug licensed for use in leukaemia, for MM treatment.

Although previously investigated in MM, Venetoclax, which inhibits the action of a protein known as BCL-2, was only proven to be useful in a limited proportion of patients.

The researchers discovered that combining Venetoclax with a medication called 5-azacytidine dramatically enhanced its efficacy across several MM cell lines, indicating that the new combination could be used to treat a larger patient population.

Professor Tríona Ní Chonghaile, Associate Professor and research lead, at Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, said “This research is a significant step in identifying more effective treatment options for multiple myeloma. By combining Venetoclax and 5-azacytidine, we’ve seen enhanced efficacy across a wide range of patient samples,” said

“It shows the benefits of re-evaluating existing treatments in new contexts to expand their potential.”

Professor Siobhán Glavey, Chair of the RCSI Department of Pathology and Clinician Scientist at the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, stated that the discovery of this new medicine combination is a hopeful development.Our next goal is to test for efficacy and safety for multiple myeloma in a clinical trial setting, bringing us closer to giving a novel therapeutic option to patients.”

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