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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Melphalan flufenamide in combination with dexamethasone for treating adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

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Melphalan flufenamide in combination with dexamethasone for treating adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

Drugs

Cancer and Palliative Care

August 2020


Melphalan flufenamide in combination with dexamethasone is currently in clinical development for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow where large amounts of abnormal plasma cells are produced and interfere with the production of red and white blood cells and platelets. People with MM will experience periods of time without symptoms followed by periods when the illness comes back (relapsed MM). Eventually the periods without symptoms will shorten and the illness will become immune to retreatment (refractory MM). Most patients will experience serial relapse to existing treatments at some point during their disease course, hence the need for newer treatment combination options.
Melphalan flufenamide is given by intravenous infusion and is designed to specifically target myeloma cells. Once inside the myeloma cells melphalan flufenamide causes damage to the DNA resulting in the death of these cancer cells. Dexamethasone works by stopping white blood cells from travelling to areas where cancerous myeloma cells are causing damage. When combined with melphalan flufenamide, dexamethasone can also make melphalan flufenamide work more effectively. If licensed, melphalan flufenamide in combination with dexamethasone may provide an additional treatment option for patients with relapsed or refractory MM.

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