iStopMM— A Year Later

The iStopMM (Screens, Treat, or Prevent Multiple Myeloma) project was launched on November 15, 2016, with strong support from the Black Swan Research Initiative®. Two weeks ago, IMF President & CEO Susie Durie, Senior Vice President of Clinical Education & Research Initiatives Lisa Paik, and I visited the University of Iceland to celebrate the one-year anniversary with Principal Investigator Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson and his 16-member iStopMM team. I am thrilled to report that the results to date are beyond everyone’s expectations.

Gene Editing, Regulating DNA Sequencing Tests, and How Your Body Gets Its Energy

Scientific breakthroughs in the news this week promise many practical implications for myeloma patients.

Is prevention of myeloma within reach?

Could myeloma be prevented through dietary recommendations, lifestyle changes, and occupational precautions? There is growing evidence that intervention strategies such as these might offer hope—and these ideas will be tested for the first time in the Black Swan Research-funded iStopMM® project in Iceland.

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.

 

72 Hours, 5 Countries: A Snapshot of the International Myeloma Foundation’s Global Impact

From May 4th through May 6th, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) made its presence known around the globe.  Reflecting on the many activities the IMF was involved with, I realize how lucky we are and how critical it is to be part of so many wonderful and important collaborations. It is all well and good to have brilliant ideas alone in the research lab. But only by linking arms with like-minded people—scientists, patients, caregivers, and advocates—will we truly move forward to find the pathway to a cure.

 

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