In a recent study presented at an American Society of Hematology meeting, Carfilzomib, an experimental drug manufactured by Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., has been found to reduce cancer in a third of patients with Myeloma. Myeloma is a build-up of cancerous plasma cells, which tend to grow and multiply rapidly and cause tumors to grow in bone marrow. The exact cause of Myeloma is unknown, but is attributed to genetic abnormalities, exposure to petrochemicals, large doses of radiation, and immune system dysfunction. Symptoms include osteoporosis at an unusually young age, kidney problems, and a low red and white blood cell count.
The study included 266 patients total who had relapsed or failed to improve after being treated with medications, including Celgene Corp.’s Revlimid and Thalomid and Johnson & Johnson’s Velcade. Of these 266 patients, 257 patients reported that 24% had their cancer reduced by half, while 10% had their cancer reduced by one-fourth.
According to Bloomberg, Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. will use the results to seek accelerated approval for the drug from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).