ZS Associates announced the publication of a study released at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting that demonstrated that the introduction of innovative, novel therapies in multiple myeloma has been responsible for the dramatic improvements in survival since 2001 and is projected to further improve these outcomes over the coming years.
The results showed that median overall survival in the United States remained relatively static from 1980 to 2001, at approximately 30 months. Upon the introduction of innovative, novel therapies, however, that figure increased by 43% by 2008. Based on the projected analysis, this figure is due to improve even further, to 72 months by 2022—a 67% increase over the current historical highs and a 140% improvement from 2001. These results show how important it is to understand both the current and anticipated future impact in survival outcomes due to the launches of novel therapies.
The analysis, conducted by ZS Associates and a team that included Dr. Brian Durie, chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and practicing oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, looked at a historical analysis of overall survival in multiple myeloma based on data from surveillance, epidemiology and end results (SEER). The group then took the survival figures and calculated prospective survival using a patient flow model that integrated data from clinical trials, cancer registries and demographics. Progression was simulated based on treatment rates and time spent in each line of therapy and the results were calibrated against 19 years of historical data.
This original approach to estimate future survival outcomes taking into account the introduction of novel therapies was developed by ZS Associates, and is widely applicable to determine how much longer patients may live with other oncology and hematology diseases. The approach is particularly relevant in diseases where innovative therapies have the potential to significantly improve survival outcomes.
This analysis enables a visualization of the impact of novel therapies, and that innovation has had a strong role in turning multiple myeloma from a quickly progressing, deadly cancer toward a chronic, manageable disease. The results also show that while this medical innovation has improved the life expectancy for multiple myeloma patients to around 75 years, there is a need to continue to drive new innovation to reach the life expectancy of the general population at 85 years. This goal may become possible but only with broad access to next-generation medicines for patients based on an improved understanding of this disease.
In addition to therapies like lenalidomide, bortezomib, carfilzomib and pomalidomide that have transformed this disease, and may lower the overall cost of managing multiple myeloma, there are multiple new medicines under development that have the potential to be used sequentially, and in combination with standards of care like lenalidomide to further control this disease over the next decade.