This week on DocWire, editors spoke with Douglas Sborov, MD, Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, about initiatives to expand eligibility to multiple myeloma (MM) clinical trials. As new MM drugs come into the therapeutic space, showing that these options significantly improve outcomes may require “more stringent eligibility criteria in patient selection,” explains Dr. Sborov. “While the strategy may give us a better idea of how well a drug performs, ultimately the applicability of these trial results for our general patient population is likely limited.”
In other news, researchers from Bluebird Bio, Inc., have appealed to the FDA to resume clinical trials of their novel gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) after new evidence suggests that a recent diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in one study participant was not linked to the treatment. Bluebird Bio halted the trial in February after two patients treated five years ago with the investigative therapy developed AML and acute myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), respectively. The team continues to investigate whether the MDS diagnosis in the second patient is treatment related.
A study published in PLOS Medicine found that repeated vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) in individuals over the age of 26 may not be cost effective. According to the results, HPV vaccinations beyond age 26 provide only a limited health benefit at the population level and at a high cost. The researchers observed that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio vaccinating people up to age 45 years ranged from $315,700 to $440,600 per quality-adjusted life year.
Finally, first-degree relatives of cancer survivors may not change their lifestyle behaviors as a result of their family member’s diagnosis, but they may change their medical behaviors, a study suggests. In a survey of nine relatives of cancer survivors, only two openly discussed long-term lifestyle changes they implemented as a result of their family member’s diagnosis, such as diet and exercise. The remaining participants either did not discuss it or said they only made medical changes.