Dr. Don Benson, MD, PhD Ohio State University Interview Date: June 10, 2016
Ten years ago the first checkpoint inhibitor was used in metastatic melanoma, with amazing results. Now, an abundance of testing is done for this new class of drugs that allows the immune system to do its job in multiple myeloma. According to Dr. Benson, the immune system regulates when to attack and when to back off. For example, in infections, we want the immune system to fight the infection but not spin out of control and attack healthy tissue. In myeloma patients, the immune system is handicapped and brakes have been put on it so that it can't operate properly. Dr. Benson explains the various checkpoint inhibitors that are being used in clinical trials. He tells us that the amount of research and the number of clinical trials is awe-inspiring. These inhibitors can be used with Revlimid, dexamethasone and are being tested in a wide variety of other combinations. Adding these inhibitors can also bring non-working drugs that patients have become refractory to back to life.
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of the HealthTree Foundation.
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