The new future for myeloma patients

As the dust settles from all the activity surrounding new drug approvals and the potential for further approvals, it is time to reflect on what the future holds for myeloma patients.

Darzalex® (daratumumab): more very good news and a caution

Janssen’s Darzalex®, or daratumumab, has been granted “Breakthrough Therapy” designation by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in combination with Revlimid® (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone, and Velcade® (bortezomib) and dexamethasone, for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one previous therapy. The designation was based on data from the CASTOR and POLLUX trials recently presented at ASCO 2016 and EHA 2016 respectively. The prolongation of remissions achieved by combining Darzalex with either Velcade/dex or Revlimid/dex were highlighted in my Myeloma Updates 2016 presentation, as well as recent blogs, “ASCO 2016: More excitement about daratumumab (Darzalex®), and tremendous interest in value and costs” and “Preview of the Black Swan Research Initiative’s First US Cure Trial.”

Preview of the Black Swan Research Initiative’s First US Cure Trial

This week, Dr. Shaji Kumar shares the details of the upcoming US ASCENT “Cure Trial” in a video interview on IMF-TV. ASCENT stands for Aggressive Smoldering Cure Evaluating Novel Rx Transplant. This long-anticipated clinical trial, expected to launch in late Fall 2016, is based on key tenets of the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI)®:

Is MRD testing ready for “prime time”?

The answer is a definite yes and no! Yes, it is now a priority to test for minimal residual disease (MRD) in myeloma clinical trials. However, no, MRD testing is not yet recommended in routine clinical practice.  But I’m pleased to report that we are getting there.

Myeloma Moonshot: The IMF’s Data-Driven Approach Already a Proven Success

Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Summit last week brought the search for a cure back into the news with the announcement of the “shared data initiative.”  Some myeloma patients have asked, “Can the IMF benefit from this approach?”  What they may not realize is that we’ve been sharing data all along! The IMF’s International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) has been gathering and sharing data from all major myeloma institutions globally for more than a decade. And our Black Swan Research Initiative®, launched in 2012, is actively sharing data on our path to find the cure.

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