Will Resilience be the Answer in 2019?

After a hectic 2018, early indications are that changes and challenges may face us in 2019. On the same day we learned that Celgene, the dominant pharmaceutical company in the myeloma field for over two decades, will be bought by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the price of Celgene’s myeloma drug, Revlimid, was increased yet again. The future landscape in the myeloma space will emerge in the coming months as the takeover by BMS is finalized in the third quarter of 2019.


Future Myeloma Therapy - We Plan, God Laughs

As we grapple with the outcomes from the myeloma research presented in San Diego last week at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), it is worth pondering the future for myeloma therapies. So many options, so much excitement—but where does it lead us?


iSTOPMM is Leading the Way to A Cure and is Honored at a Presidential Luncheon

On Thursday, November 15, the iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) team gathered at the deCODE genetics facility in Reykjavik, Iceland, for the 3rd Annual iStopMM research review meeting. This marked the end of a successful second year and the launch of the project’s third year. The IMF-funded project’s remarkable achievements, including the recruitment of more than 80,000 Icelandic participants—making it the world’s largest myeloma study, drew the attention of Iceland’s president, Gudni Thorlacius Jóhannesson. He was the first to publicly volunteer for the project when it launched in 2016. This year, he graciously invited IMF president Susie Durie and myself, iStopMM principal investigator Prof. Sigurdur Kristinsson, Una Jóhannesdóttir, and three myeloma patients active in the country’s patient organization, Kristín Einarsdóttir, Kjartan Gunnarsson, and Gunnar Rúnar Kristjánsson, along with their spouses, to a luncheon on November 14 at the president’s residence, Bessastadir.


FDA Weighs in On Immune Therapies

On Wednesday, November 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of elotuzumab (Empliciti®) by intravenous injection in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone (EPd) for treatment of relapsed or refractory myeloma in patients who have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor. This is obviously excellent news for patients!

ASCENT Trial to Treat High-Risk Smoldering Multiple Myeloma Launching Across the US

The ASCENT trial (Aggressive Smoldering Curative Approach Evaluating Novel Therapies) is evaluating the effectiveness and safety of the combination of Darzalex® (daratumumab) + Kyprolis® (carfilzomib) + Revlimid® (lenalidomide) + dexamethasone in high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma (HRSMM). We hope to learn whether starting treatment early substantially improves outcomes, leads to a higher level of undetected minimal residual disease (MRD), sustained remissions, and potential cure.