Celgene International Sàrl (NASDAQ: CELG) announced that data evaluating combination therapy REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone in patients with high-risk asymptomatic smoldering multiple myeloma were presented during the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting. The study reported REVLIMID and dexamethasone prolonged time to progression.
The Phase III, randomised, multicenter, open-label study evaluated whether early treatment with REVLIMID and dexamethasone in high-risk asymptomatic smoldering multiple myeloma patients prolonged time to progression to symptomatic disease compared to patients that did not receive treatment and were just observed.
Patients were treated with REVLIMID (25mg daily on days 1-21 of 28-day cycle) and dexamethasone (20mg on days 1-4, 12-15 of 28-day cycle) for nine four-week cycles and then continued treatment with a lower dose of REVLIMID (10mg daily on days 1-21 of 28-day cycle) until progression. The results showed an overall response rate of 75% (43/57), including 51% (29/57) PR, 12% (7/57) VGPR, 5% (3/57) CR and 7% (4/57) stringent CR (sCR). For the patients who completed the initial nine treatment cycles, the overall response rate was 91% (30/33), including 15% (5/33) VGPR, 9% (3/33) CR and 9% (3/33) sCR. For patients who then went on to receive continuous lenalidomide treatment, the sCR rate increased to 16% (5/32).
After a median follow-up of 16 months, disease progression was observed in 3% (4/118) of patients treated with REVLIMID and dexamethasone, while 18% (21/118) of patients progressed to active myeloma in the observation arm. Eleven out of these 21 patients also developed bone lesions due to active myeloma.
The median time to symptomatic myeloma was 25 months in patients in the observation arm and has not yet been reached for patients who received REVLIMID and dexamethasone (P<0.0001).
No Grade 4 adverse events were reported. Grade 3 adverse events included asthenia (7% 4/57), diarrhea (4% 2/57), infection (4% 2/57), anaemia (2% 1/57) and skin rash (2% 1/57). One patient discontinued treatment because of adverse events. Dose adjustments were made as necessary to manage toxicity.
REVLIMID is not approved as a treatment for high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma (also known as myeloma or plasma cell myeloma) is a cancer of the blood in which malignant plasma cells are overproduced in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are white blood cells that help produce antibodies called immunoglobulins that fight infection and disease. However, most patients with multiple myeloma have cells that produce a form of immunoglobulin called paraprotein (or M protein) that does not benefit the body. In addition, the malignant plasma cells replace normal plasma cells and other white blood cells important to the immune system. Multiple myeloma cells can also attach to other tissues of the body, such as bone, and produce tumours. The cause of the disease remains unknown. Smoldering myeloma patients have elevated levels of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow that produce M protein, however they do not have the clinical manifestations or symptoms of multiple myeloma.
REVLIMID is an IMiDs® compound. REVLIMID and other IMiDs continue to be evaluated in over 100 clinical trials. The IMiDs pipeline is covered by a comprehensive intellectual property estate of issued and pending patent applications in the US, EU and other regions, including composition-of- matter and use patents.
REVLIMID is approved in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy in nearly 70 countries, encompassing Europe, the Americas, the Middle-East and Asia, and in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of patients whose disease has progressed after one therapy in Australia and New Zealand.
REVLIMID is also approved in the Americas, the Middle-East and Asia for transfusion-dependent anaemia due to low- or intermediate-1-risk MDS associated with a deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality with or without additional cytogenetic abnormalities. Marketing Authorization Applications are currently being evaluated in a number of other countries.
REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone is indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) patients who have received at least one prior therapy.
REVLIMID is indicated for patients with transfusion-dependent anaemia due to Low- or Intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) associated with a deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality with or without additional cytogenetic abnormalities.
Important Safety Information
WARNING: FETAL RISK, HEMATOLOGIC TOXICITY, and DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS AND PULMONARY EMBOLISM
Do not use REVLIMID during pregnancy. Lenalidomide, a thalidomide analogue, caused limb abnormalities in a developmental monkey study. Thalidomide is a known human teratogen that causes severe life-threatening human birth defects. If lenalidomide is used during pregnancy, it may cause birth defects or death to a developing baby. In women of childbearing potential, obtain 2 negative pregnancy tests before starting REVLIMID treatment. Women of childbearing potential must use 2 forms of contraception or continuously abstain from heterosexual sex during and for 4 weeks after REVLIMID treatment. To avoid fetal exposure to lenalidomide, REVLIMID is only available under a restricted distribution program called "RevAssist®."
HEMATOLOGIC TOXICITY (NEUTROPENIA AND THROMBOCYTOPENIA)
REVLIMID can cause significant neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Eighty percent of patients with del 5q MDS had to have a dose delay/reduction during the major study. Thirty-four percent of patients had to have a second dose delay/reduction. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity was seen in 80% of patients enrolled in the study. Patients on therapy for del 5q MDS should have their complete blood counts monitored weekly for the first 8 weeks of therapy and at least monthly thereafter. Patients may require dose interruption and/or reduction. Patients may require use of blood product support and/or growth factors. (see DOSAGE and ADMINISTRATION)
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS AND PULMONARY EMBOLISM
REVLIMID has demonstrated a significantly increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients with MM who were treated with REVLIMID and dexamethasone therapy. Patients and physicians are advised to be observant for the signs and symptoms of thromboembolism. Patients should be instructed to seek medical care if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm or leg swelling. It is not known whether prophylactic anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy prescribed in conjunction with REVLIMID may lessen the potential for venous thromboembolic events. The decision to take prophylactic measures should be done carefully after an assessment of an individual patient's underlying risk factors.
Pregnancy Category X:
- Lenalidomide is contraindicated in pregnant women and women capable of becoming pregnant. Females of childbearing potential may be treated with lenalidomide provided adequate precautions are taken to avoid pregnancy
- REVLIMID is contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity (e.g., angioedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis) to lenalidomide
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS:
- REVLIMID is an analogue of thalidomide, a known human teratogen that causes life-threatening human birth defects. An embryofetal development study in non-human primates indicates that lenalidomide produced malformations in the offspring of female monkeys who received the drug during pregnancy, similar to birth defects observed in humans following exposure to thalidomide during pregnancy. If REVLIMID is used during pregnancy, it may cause birth defects or death to a developing baby
- Females of childbearing potential must be advised to avoid pregnancy while on REVLIMID. Two effective contraceptive methods should be used during therapy, during therapy interruptions, and for at least 4 weeks after completing therapy
- Male Patients: It is not known whether lenalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug. Therefore, males receiving REVLIMID must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with females of childbearing potential, even if they have undergone a successful vasectomy
Reproductive Risk and Special Prescribing Requirements (RevAssist Program):
- Because of this potential toxicity and to avoid fetal exposure, REVLIMID is only available under a special restricted distribution program called "RevAssist." Prescribers and pharmacists registered with the program can prescribe and dispense the product to patients who are registered and meet all the conditions of the RevAssist program
Hematologic Toxicity—Multiple Myeloma:
- REVLIMID can cause significant neutropenia and thrombocytopenia
- Patients taking REVLIMID for MM should have their complete blood counts monitored every 2 weeks for the first 12 weeks and then monthly thereafter
- In the pooled MM studies Grade 3 and 4 hematologic toxicities were more frequent in patients treated with the combination of REVLIMID and dexamethasone than in patients treated with dexamethasone alone
- Patients may require dose interruption and/or dose reduction
Deep Vein Thrombosis:
- Venous thromboembolic events (predominantly deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) have occurred in patients with MM treated with lenalidomide combination therapy and patients with MDS treated with lenalidomide monotherapy
- Angioedema and serious dermatologic reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been reported. These events can be fatal. Patients with a prior history of Grade 4 rash associated with thalidomide treatment should not receive REVLIMID. REVLIMID interruption or discontinuation should be considered for Grade 2-3 skin rash. REVLIMID must be discontinued for angioedema, Grade 4 rash, exfoliative or bullous rash, or if SJS or TEN is suspected, and should not be resumed following discontinuation for these reactions
Tumour Lysis Syndrome:
- Fatal instances of tumour lysis syndrome have been reported during treatment with lenalidomide. The patients at risk of tumour lysis syndrome are those with high tumour burden prior to treatment. These patients should be monitored closely and appropriate precautions taken
Tumour Flare Reaction:
- Tumour flare reaction has occurred during investigational use of lenalidomide for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and lymphoma, and is characterized by tender lymph node swelling, low grade fever, pain and rash. Treatment of CLL or lymphoma with lenalidomide outside of a well-monitored clinical trial is discouraged
- Erythropoietic agents, or other agents, that may increase the risk of thrombosis, such as estrogen containing therapies, should be used with caution in MM patients receiving lenalidomide with dexamethasone
USE IN SPECIAL POPULATIONS:
- It is not known whether REVLIMID is excreted in human milk
- Because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother
- Since elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection. Monitor renal function
- Since REVLIMID is primarily excreted unchanged by the kidney, adjustments to the starting dose of REVLIMID are recommended to provide appropriate drug exposure in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment (CLcr < 60 mL/min) and in patients on dialysis
- In the REVLIMID/dexamethasone treatment group, 269 patients (76%) underwent at least one dose interruption with or without a dose reduction of REVLIMID compared to 199 patients (57%) in the placebo/dexamethasone treatment group
- Of these patients who had one dose interruption with or without a dose reduction, 50% in the REVLIMID/dexamethasone treatment group underwent at least one additional dose interruption with or without a dose reduction compared to 21% in the placebo/dexamethasone treatment group
- Most adverse events and Grade 3/4 adverse events were more frequent in MM patients who received the combination of REVLIMID/dexamethasone compared to placebo/dexamethasone
- Adverse reactions reported in ≥15% of MM patients (REVLIMID/dexamethasone vs dexamethasone/placebo): fatigue (44% vs 42%), neutropenia (42% vs 6%), constipation (41% vs 21%), diarrhea (39% vs 27%), muscle cramp (33% vs 21%), anaemia (31% vs 24%), pyrexia (28% vs 23%), peripheral edema (26% vs 21%), nausea (26% vs 21%), back pain (26% vs 19%), upper respiratory tract infection (25% vs 16%), dyspnea (24% vs 17%), dizziness (23% vs 17%), thrombocytopenia (22% vs 11%), rash (21% vs 9%), tremor (21% vs 7%), weight decreased (20% vs 15%), nasopharyngitis (18% vs 9%), blurred vision (17% vs 11%), anorexia (16% vs 10%), and dysgeusia (15% vs 10%)
- Thrombocytopenia (61.5%; 91/148) and neutropenia (58.8%; 87/148) were the most frequently reported adverse events observed in the del 5q MDS population
- Other adverse events reported in ≥15% of del 5q MDS patients (REVLIMID): diarrhea (49%), pruritus (42%), rash (36%), fatigue (31%), constipation (24%), nausea (24%), nasopharyngitis (23%), arthralgia (22%), pyrexia (21%), back pain (21%), peripheral edema (20%), cough (20%), dizziness (20%), headache (20%), muscle cramp (18%), dyspnea (17%), pharyngitis (16%), epistaxis (15%), asthenia (15%), upper respiratory tract infection (15%)
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION:
- Treatment is continued or modified based upon clinical and laboratory findings. Dosing modifications are recommended to manage Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia or thrombocytopenia or other Grade 3 or 4 toxicity judged to be related to REVLIMID
- For other Grade 3 or 4 toxicities judged to be related to REVLIMID, hold treatment and restart at next lower dose level when toxicity has resolved to ≤Grade 2
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