LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - Adults diagnosed with multiple myeloma could benefit from a phase III clinical trial happening at the Cancer Center of Acadiana within Lafayette General Hospital. Researchers need men and women 18 and older, especially those who are not candidates for high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant.
The rare blood cancer affects bone marrow, eventually causing bones to become brittle and break. There is no cure, and African-Americans are almost twice as likely as Caucasian-Americans to be diagnosed with and die from the disease.
"We're still working on trying to figure out what are the genetic differences between the races that would increase incidents of myeloma in the African-American community," said Dr. Craig Cole, a hematologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In the meantime, progress is being made through the development of new immune therapies.
"There are actually several clinical trials that are going on throughout the country on myeloma with different drugs all affecting the immune system," Cole said.
The Lafayette trial is testing the experimental drug Daratumumab by using it in combination with other drugs. Phase III is the final phase before possible approval for the general public.
"These drugs can put patients into a deep, deep, long remission oftentimes, and so people are definitely living longer with this disease by using these types of drugs," said Dr. Windy Dean-Colomb, Director of Oncology and Oncology Research at University Hospital & Clinics in Lafayette. "That may help that patient, but the bigger picture is that it can help future patients in learning whether or not this new treatment regimen will be a benefit in their disease."
Myeloma is not genetic and most commonly affects men over age 60.
Extreme fatigue is an early symptom of myeloma, as well as shortness of breath, changes in urine and becoming anemic. Bone weakness and pain present at a later stage.
Those interested in the trial should call (337) 289-8658 or click
for more information.