Latest Research on Treating Myeloma
New research in the UK has found that multiple myeloma is very likely to be able to be treated with a variety of experimental treatments. Multiple myeloma is the result of an abnormal increase in the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) that develop in the bone marrow. Leukocyte is a term used to describe blood cells that are composed of one or more red and white blood cells. If a sufficient number of leukocytes develop abnormally then this is known as multiple myeloma.
The latest research at the University of Nottingham found that there was a significant improvement in the overall survival rate for those who underwent experimental treatments. The key benefit provided by immunotherapy was that it dramatically increased the level of T-cells that were produced in the bone marrow. These T-cells are responsible for producing antibodies that attack cancer cells and, by doing this, they can help to bring the entire immune system back into a normal state. In recent years, several clinical trials have been conducted around the world using a combination of novel vaccines and immunotherapies in order to test the safety and effectiveness of these treatments.
One of these clinical trials took place in the UK involving two groups of patients suffering from multiple myeloma. One group was given a new class of targeted antibodies which were to be administered intravenously; the other group was given a treatment using an injectable form of the medication called Pd-1. The study concluded that patients who had high counts of T-cells that responded well to Pd-1 showed a clear improvement in their disease when compared to those in the placebo group. A further clinical trial in Spain also found an improvement in multiple myeloma patients when they received an injection of Pd-1. Although this particular drug is not used in the United Kingdom, it is hoped that the results from these studies will stimulate further interest in the treatment of this disease.
There are also clinical trials ongoing at present which are examining the use of antibodies in the treatment of myeloma. These clinical trials are particularly interesting because they give hope to those patients who have already undergone surgery or radiation therapy as there is now an established method whereby these drugs can be administered to the patient. The antibodies work by stimulating the production of myeloma cell antibodies. The number of myeloma cells in the bone marrow is usually determined by a blood test called the HCG panel. The antibodies then go on to attack the damaged cells and this should stop the disease progressing.
It should be noted that although this is an exciting development, more research is still needed to verify these initial findings and show that this form of treatment is effective in the treatment of this type of cancer. There is also much that remains unknown about how myeloma develops. There are several theories about the process by which it develops, but none has been proven yet. This is why there is still no known cure for it.
Despite the recent development of this treatment, there are still a lot of people who believe that conventional medicine is their only option. For them, the latest research is not enough to convince them to give up their search for a cure for myeloma. However, there is also hope as more research results show promising results. With further studies, we may soon find a cure that will help them lead normal lives again.