Clinical trials with multiple myeloma patients
Multiple myeloma is a kind of blood cancer originating in the plasma cells that produce anti-bodies. It is one of the most frequent blood cancers and it affects mainly older people. In Spain, it has an annual incidence in adults of 40 new cases per million, accounting for 10% of blood cancers. The most frequent symptoms of the disease are anemia, bone lesions, renal failure and high propensity to succumb to infections. Unfortunately, it is an incurable disease.
Nevertheless, there have been revolutionary changes in its treatment over the last ten years. Over the last decade many new treatments have increased the average survival period from less than three years to more than seven, and researchers are working to make further improvements.
Why do we need to investigate?
In spite of the development of these therapies, most patients eventually suffer a relapse of the disease. Although many of the new drugs are effective on their own, it has been demonstrated that they are much more effective when they are used in combination. The present challenge is to find new combinations of drugs to treat the recurrent disease and to prolong patients' lives.
The impact of our work
One of the most important aspects of this line of research is the strong link between basic and clinical research. Biological research into multiple myeloma is vital for identifying new targets within the cells and, similarly, the results of clinical research are of supreme importance when searching for alternative formulas for drug development.
Another of the fundamental characteristics of this line of research is the spirit of international collaboration that drives it. Most of the clinical trials carried out by Dr. Albert Oriol's group are done in cooperation with many hospitals both in Spain and abroad because that is a way of accelerating the production of results and hastening the approval of new drugs.
Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute Dossier
For more information, the following web page can be consulted: