Aldo Del Col, Executive Director of Myeloma Canada, noted, “Pomalidomide is promising because it demonstrates these positive results even when multiple previous treatments have stopped working. This is significant because seven new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed each day in Canada. It cannot yet be cured but newer drugs means it can be treated for increasingly longer periods of time.”
Pomalidomide is an investigational oral medication called an immunomodulator that attacks the cancer directly while also stimulating the body’s own defense mechanisms to attack. It is a relative of the approved drug lenalidomide (Revlimid) but studies show pomalidomide is effective even where disease has become resistant to lenalidomide as well as to drugs called proteasome inhibitors.
This past summer carfilzomib (Kyprolis), a second generation proteasome inhibitor, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. A decision on pomalidomide is expected early next year in the United States and later in 2013 in Europe. Neither has been scheduled for submission to Health Canada.