ADVERTISEMENT

Lymphoma, Myeloma & Prostate Cancer

FDA approves Mozobil for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma, and Degarelix for advanced prostate cancer. 

BY ELIZABETH WHITTINGTON
PUBLISHED FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Myeloma CURE discussion group.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Mozobil (plerixafor) in December for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma who are undergoing a stem cell transplant. The injectable drug, given in combination with a growth factor called granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), boosts the number of stem cells in the blood, where they can be collected for transplantation.

In autologous stem cell transplantation, a patient’s stem cells are collected (called apheresis) before high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation. The high-dose therapy kills cancer cells, but also destroys stem cells that develop into other blood cells. To counter this effect, patients are reinfused with the collected stem cells.

Typically, apheresis requires up to four hours over several days, but Mozobil appears to make the process faster and more successful. A study involving NHL patients found that in up to four apheresis attempts, 59 percent of patients taking G-CSF plus Mozobil had successful stem cell collections compared with 20 percent of patients receiving only G-CSF. Results were similar in a study with multiple myeloma patients. Adding Mozobil allowed patients to reach an adequate number of collected stem cells in a median of one day compared with four days using G-CSF alone. Side effects of Mozobil include fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea.

For more information, visit www.mozobil.com or call 877-466-9624 (site is owned by Genzyme, maker of Mozobil).

Degarelix, a type of hormonal therapy, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer at the end of December. At press time, possible trade names were still being reviewed by the FDA.

Degarelix, an injectable gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) blocker, reduces levels of testosterone, a hormone produced by the testes and adrenal glands that can drive the growth of some prostate cancers. This has been shown to lower prostate-specific antigen, a measure of the amount of prostate cancer.

The FDA based its approval on phase III studies that compared degarelix with another GnRH blocker called Lupron (leuprolide), a standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Degarelix came out on top in the studies, primarily because of the drug’s unique mechanism of action.

Degarelix works by binding to the receptors of the brain’s pituitary cells, blocking the production of luteinizing hormone (a hormone that stimulates the testes to produce testosterone). Patients taking degarelix do not experience the initial “flare” of hormone levels (and possible cancer growth) that is seen with other GnRH blockers such as Lupron.

Phase III studies have confirmed that degarelix suppresses testosterone levels and PSA faster than Lupron without causing the initial hormone flare and cancer growth. In a phase III study published in the British Journal of Urology International, 95 percent of patients taking degarelix achieved complete testosterone suppression on the third day of treatment compared with zero percent of patients taking Lupron. After two weeks, nearly 100 percent of degarelix patients had hormone suppression, while only 18 percent of patients on Lupron reached a comparable level.

Common side effects of degarelix, such as fatigue, weight gain, and hot flashes, were comparable to Lupron, although degarelix was associated with more injection-site skin reactions. For more information, visit www.prostatecancerliving.com (site is owned by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, maker of degarelix). 

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Myeloma CURE discussion group.
ADVERTISEMENT
Cure Connections
Related Articles
FDA Expands Adcetris' Label in Hodgkin Lymphoma
BY SILAS INMAN
The FDA has approved Adcetris as a consolidation therapy following autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma at risk of relapse or progression, based on the phase 3 AETHERA trial.
Living a Clean Life in a Dirty World
Kevin explains, in a rather tedious manner, his procedure for washing his hands and other immune-deficient oddities.
Taking a Shot
BY TONY HAGEN
Clinical development of prostate cancer vaccines is moving forward.
The Potential of Gazyva in Advanced Indolent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
BY LAURA MARTIN
CURE spoke with Bruce D. Cheson to gain a deeper understanding of adding the targeted therapy Gazyva to the chemotherapy Treanda for patients with Rituxan-refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Test Case: Despite Debate, PSA Testing for Prostate Cancer Can Be a Life-Saving Measure
BY DEEPAK A. KAPOOR
When the USPSTF issued its recommendation against PSA testing, urologists nationwide, myself included, warned about the possible public health repercussions that could ensue. Our fears have materialized, and much sooner than anticipated.
Related Videos
Susan Thornton on Unmet Needs in Cutaneous Lymphoma
BY SUSAN THORNTON
Susan Thornton provides an overview of the unmet needs in cutaneous lymphoma.
Susan Thornton on Bridging the Knowledge Gap Between Researchers and Patients
Susan Thornton discusses her story and her efforts to bridge the knowledge gap between researchers and patients.
Leslie R. Schover on Male Issues After Cancer Treatment
BY LESLIE R. SCHOVER
Leslie R. Schover, professor of behavioral science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses some problems men face after cancer treatment.
Photographer Bill Aron Tells His Prostate Cancer Story
BY BILL ARON
Photographer Bill Aron tells his prostate cancer story.
Dr. Shore Provides an Overview of Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer
BY NEAL D. SHORE, MD, FACS
Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS, medical director, Carolina Urologic Research Center, provides an overview of biomarkers in prostate cancer.
$auto_registration$
VSEO N/A