Multiple myeloma, or Kahler’s disease, is a type of cancer that begins in plasma cells – white blood cells that produce antibodies. Plasma cells usually work in the body’s immune defense system and help produce antibodies. In cases of multiple myeloma, however, too many plasma cells build up in the bone marrow.
In a recent Facebook Live webchat, Jacob Laubach, MD, MPP, Clinical Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, discussed the different ways that patients can be treated with multiple myeloma, as well as exciting avenues of treatment, such as combination therapy. In combination therapy, multiple different drugs are used at the same time to treat a patient’s cancer.
“The rationale behind [combination therapy] is that these agents that are employed in the treatment of the disease have distinct, different mechanisms of action and together, they can eliminate cancer cells more effectively,” Laubach says, “We like to think of it in terms of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines: each component of the regiment brings something to bear against the cancer.”
Laubach also discussed new developments in clinical trials for multiple myeloma and answered questions from the audience.
“Here at Dana-Farber,” he says, “Our mission is to care for patients, and at the same time, to move this field forward, so that in five years, outcomes are better for patients than they are now.”
View a video of the March 31 webchat below.