Myeloma News Roundup: ASCO Abstracts Released, China Meetings Succeed, and iStopMM Clinic Officially Opens

The abstracts for the 2017 ASCO annual meeting, to be in held June 2nd to June 6th in Chicago, were released late yesterday. Among the 84 myeloma and/or amyloid or plasma cell disorders abstracts, there are 10 oral presentations. There are no blockbuster myeloma presentations this year. Most abstracts deal with results with novel combination therapies incorporating, for example, daratumumab (and other anti-CD38 antibodies), checkpoint inhibitors, venetoclax, pomalidomide, and carfilzomib.

The results of the EMN02/HO95 (Hovon) trial for transplant-eligible patients evaluating the role of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing (Abstract #8011) will be presented. The denosumab and Zometa randomized trial dataset presentation will again illustrate the lesser renal toxicities with denosumab (Abstract #8005). An important analysis evaluates cardiovascular toxicities with carfilzomib (Abstract #8018). An interesting study finds that patients with an elevated BMI who have SMM are more likely to progress—important because of potential weight-loss intervention (Abstract #8032). Several studies look at costs. Overall, there are quite a few interesting observations here which are helpful in defining and refining novel agent treatment strategies moving forward.

 

Global Collaboration Essential to Achieve a Cure for Myeloma

“Our primary objective is to cure myeloma by preventing malignant transformation in patients at risk.” Those are the words of Bruno Paiva, principal investigator of our Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) project in Pamplona, Spain. To truly achieve this, the 200-plus members of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) are collaborating on and implementing multiple research projects around the world.

ASCO 2016: More excitement about daratumumab (Darzalex®), and tremendous interest in value and costs

As usual, far fewer myeloma-related abstracts will be presented at this year’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) than are presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) each December.  However, there is quite a bit of excitement about the results of the phase III CASTOR study to be presented at the Plenary session on Sunday, June 5. This randomized trial compares daratumumab plus bortezomib (Velcade® - [V])/ dexamethasone [d] versus Vd alone. Since this is a “late-breaking” plenary abstract, the abstract is not being released until Sunday, June 5th at 7:30 am (EDT). However, the positive interim results were provided in a press release on March 30, 2016. Beyond this abstract, the other interesting aspect of this year’s ASCO meeting is

Can the ASCO “Value Framework” work for myeloma patients?

Cancer drug costs are high. In an effort to rationalize the use of expensive drugs, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has proposed what they call a “Value Framework.” This framework uses a complex points system (See Fig 1. of article).

New drug data challenge the ways we treat myeloma

At the recent annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Hematology Association (EHA), important data were presented on the monoclonal antibodies elotuzumab and daratumumab. The first acts against SLAMF7 and the second against CD38. These new targets on the surface of myeloma cells provide ways to attack myeloma separate from traditional chemotherapy and the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) or proteasome inhibitor “novel” agents.

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