Ask the Expert about the Latest Myeloma News

Andrew Schorr:

So here we are. You've been at this awhile. Where we are today, are you excited, and are you excited about, looking in the lab, where we're headed?

Dr. Lonial:

Absolutely. You know, it's one of the most exciting times I think to be a researcher in this area. You know, there was a time ten years ago where nobody wanted to be a myeloma researcher because there was nothing you could really do. There was nothing. We didn't understand the pathways. We had very limited drugs, and the numbers of patients we thought we had was much smaller than probably the real number. The reason I say that is they're saying that the number now is up to 20,000 a year, whereas a few years ago it was 12,000 or 13,000, and I don't think that that's purely a result of the incidence going up. I think that's because now as we have better therapies the diagnosis is being made earlier, and so patients now have options that they didn't have before, and when you look to the drugs or the monoclonal antibodies or the combinations that are in the lab, it's a new day. It's a completely new day, and I think the real challenge is going to be, as I said before, how do we put these drugs together? What sequence of time do we give them? You know, I'm a believer in multiple combinations and giving as many drugs together as you can to try and eradicate resistant cells early on in the disease course. Others don't necessarily share that point of view, and I don't think we know what's the right answer yet, but I think we have so many new drugs and targets coming that it's never been a better time to be stuck with the problem of myeloma.

Andrew Schorr:

Dr. Sagar Lonial, I just love doing programs with you, and if you're upbeat, I'm upbeat, and I think it's a great message to our listeners. That's Dr. Sagar Lonial, associate professor at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Lonial, thanks. We'll do it again sometime soon, okay?

Dr. Lonial:

Great, I look forward to it. Thank you, Andrew.

Andrew Schorr:

Thank you. We'll he's a great guest, and as I said, we have a whole series we're planning as we continue our programs on multiple myeloma. Look for the replay on www.patientpower.info, look for news about coming up programs. Be sure you're signed up for our e-newsletter, keep in touch with our friends at the International Myeloma Foundation, and thanks to Millennium Pharmaceuticals for making a grant to help fund these programs. We really appreciate it. As always, knowledge can be the best medicine of all. Have a great weekend. In Seattle, I'm Andrew Schorr.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of Millennium, our partners, or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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