Good News in Cancer? In Blood Diseases, There Are Positive Developments to Share

CURE, Hematology Special Issue (October), Volume 1, Issue 1

IT’S NOT OFTEN that we hear the terms “good news” and“cancer” in the same sentence. But this special issue of CURE® does bring good news — reports of a series of exciting breakthroughs in the blood cancer arena that are significantly improving treatment options for patients.

IT’S NOT OFTEN that we hear the terms “good news” and“cancer” in the same sentence. But this special issue of CURE® does bring good news — reports of a series of exciting breakthroughs in the blood cancer arena that are significantly improving treatment options for patients. Our cover story discusses a cutting-edge immunotherapy whose recent approval for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma is extending lives. For some with recurrences of this disease, the checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab) has created a treatment where no others existed. And the drug approval has stoked the fires of scientific curiosity, laying the groundwork for many new studies of Opdivo in different stages of the disease and in combination with different kinds of drugs. It’s just more evidence of the immense promise immunotherapy holds in a vast array of cancer types.

Meanwhile, excitement is focused around targeted drugs when it comes to treating chronic myeloid leukemia. These drugs work by honing in on specific proteins on cancer cells, and then killing those cells — and they have immensely improved the prognosis for patients with CML. While Gleevec (imatinib) — regarded upon its introduction as a miracle drug — was once the only tyrosine kinase inhibitor available to treat these patients, there are now a plethora of choices in this class.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, too, are benefiting from the emergence of new kinase inhibitors. In particular, Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is at the center of a whirlwind of newer treatments for several of these diseases. Following through with our positive-news theme, we also bring you an advocacy section that includes details about recent efforts by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (MM4MM) project, sponsored by CURE® and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The project involved hikes through the Grand Canyon, up Mt. Kilimanjaro and along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu by teams of patients with myeloma, their loved ones, their health care providers and staff members from Takeda and CURE®. We’re proud not only of the nearly half a million dollars these teams raised for myeloma research and awareness, but of the personal victories these hikers waged over the disease.

Finally, don’t miss our stories on two accomplished women with something to say about multiple myeloma. In this issue, we feature Christi Shaw, a top executive at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Company who stepped down from her job to care for her sister who was participating in a myeloma clinical trial, and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who spoke to CURE® about her father’s experience with the same disease.

We hope that this issue will leave you feeling not only more secure in your knowledge about a variety of blood cancers and their latest treatments, but also inspired by the efforts and victories of those who are personally fighting these diseases.

As always, thank you for reading.

MIKE HENNESSY, SRChairman and CEO