New agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer. 1992 Aug 15;70(4 Suppl):946-8.


Several important new agents are effecting the management of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. The two selected for review in this article include a biologic-response modifier and a new chemotherapeutic agent. The biologic-response modifiers offer entirely new approaches to these diseases. The most extensively tested agent currently has been recombinant alpha-interferon (alpha-IFN). The IFN are active, albeit weak, remission-induction agents for low-grade NHL and some T-cell lymphomas, but they appear to be ineffective as single agents in most intermediate-grade or high-grade NHL and myeloma. However, an emerging pattern in follicular lymphomas and myeloma is that alpha-IFN in combination with chemotherapy may lead to more complete and durable clinical responses and the increased prospect of prolonged disease control. Fludarabine, a new chemotherapeutic agent, is a promising drug with demonstrated activity in low-grade lymphomas that parallels its impressive activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Vidarabine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vidarabine / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Vidarabine
  • fludarabine