The latest research on clinical trials is designed to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments. In this day and age when scientific breakthroughs are sometimes inevitable, it can be difficult to keep up. This is particularly true in the field of clinical trials that focus on immunotherapy for various types of diseases like multiple myeloma. Although several treatments have existed for decades, new technologies have recently been developed and are now being tested in clinical trials. This article will discuss the latest advances and current priorities in fighting multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is an abnormal growth of the bone marrow found in the plasma cells of the blood. It has been found to have a genetic component that makes it potentially fatal. This is because myeloma cells behave like immune cells, trying to fight off infection and trying to defend the body from disease. Because of the potential for multiple myeloma to recur even after successful treatment, doctors have been researching methods of boosting the immune system, improving the quality of the immune cells and making them more effective at fighting infections.
One such development has been the use of vaccines as immunotherapies. In the past, people with myeloma were either put on a regimen of chemotherapy or radiation to attempt to kill the cancerous cells. While these methods have been effective in some cases, the drugs and other ingredients used to administer them cause a range of side effects that can pose a serious threat to the health of the patient taking them. For example, once a person stops taking the drug, their ability to fight infections wanes. Also, there is a concern that, given time, these vaccines will make myeloma cells resistant to other potent immunotherapies, making the disease more difficult to treat. One of the latest trials testing the use of vaccines as immunotherapies is currently recruiting people diagnosed with multiple myeloma to receive high-dose single shot intravenous vaccinations aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the ongoing treatment.
Another type of clinical trial testing the use of new drugs for myeloma is testing them on patients with an aggressive form of multiple myeloma. This type of multiple myeloma is a chronic and progressive disease that causes the myeloma cells to grow in clusters rather than just singly. These scientists are testing the safety and efficacy of drugs that are being developed to target only the aggressive forms of multiple myeloma, in hopes that they will be able to stave off or even reverse the disease altogether. So far, several promising clinical trials are underway in Europe, Australia, the United States and Japan.
Finally, there is a new class of clinical trials testing immunotherapy for astrocytoma. Astrocytoma is a cancerous tumor of the spinal cord and sacral region. It results from excessive growth of the protective covering called the endometrial cells, which line the uterus. During the past several years, immunotherapy for astrocytoma has proved successful in using different types of vaccines and cancer-fighting antibodies to affect and stop the growth of the cells.
The safety of these clinical trials is still to be determined. It is also unclear whether these drugs will affect or prevent the recurrence of multiple myeloma. However, as more patients turn to this type of treatment, it is encouraging to know that there are new and innovative treatments on the horizon. By working with a qualified and experienced physician, patients can get the care they need and potentially beat their disease.