Before new drugs or procedures can be approved for use in myeloma, clinical trials must prove that they are safe and more effective than currently available options. The Myeloma Matrix tracks drugs from discovery to development to FDA approval.
Phases of Cancer Clinical Trials
Phase O - Helps researchers decide if a new agent should be tested in a phase I trial
Phase I - Determines the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of a new drug or a new combination of drugs
Phase II - Determines the response rate of a new therapy that has already been tested in phase I trials
Phase III - Compares two or more treatments for a given type and stage of cancer
Phase IV – Looks at long-term safety and effectiveness after a drug has been approved
Definitions of Treatment Types
Targeted therapy: Drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules ("molecular targets") that are involved in the growth, progression, and spread of cancer.
Immunotherapy: Treatment that enhances the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. Also called biological therapy.
Transplant: The most common type of transplant procedure for myeloma patients is an autologous transplant, a procedure in which stem cells are removed from a patient’s blood and then are given back to the patient following intensive treatment. For more information on this and other types of transplant, see the IMF publication Understanding High-Dose Therapy with Stem Cell Rescue.
Chemotherapy: In the broadest sense, any drug used to kill cancer cells. In stricter terms, chemotherapy drugs are those which kill all rapidly dividing cells, both cancerous and normal.