Second Asian Myeloma Network Summit in Beijing, China Is a Big Success

The past weekend, October 19-21, the IMF convened the second annual Asian Myeloma Network (AMN) Summit in Beijing. The first AMN Summit was in Seoul, South Korea last October. Members from the seven countries that make up the AMN—China, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and the region of Hong Kong—gathered to review and discuss the top strategic priorities for 2018. With a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the key topics aligned with those presented at the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Summit held in Stockholm in June: CAR T-cell therapy, transplantation, genomics, and minimal residual disease (MRD).

Patient Seminars: The Heart of What the IMF Does

In his blog this week, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie recaps the last IMF Patient & Family Seminar of 2018: “I was struck by the hopefulness that filled the room in Philadelphia this past weekend as patients connected with their peers, learned about the latest research, and grew more confident in a future with positive outcomes. The Patient & Family Seminars are the heart of what the IMF does, and it was on full display.”

New Guidelines for Superior Imaging, a Possible Cause of Post-Transplant Relapse, and the Future of Genetic Therapy: Myeloma News in Brief

As part of its mission to establish guidelines for myeloma treatment and diagnosis, the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) has just published guidelines for whole-body low-dose CT, an imaging modality for bone disease assessment. This new, open-access report in Blood Cancer Journal  is extremely helpful in explaining the value of whole-body low-dose CT (WBLDCT) and justifying reimbursement for its use.

FDA Approvals and Prize-Winning Research Are Welcome Good News for Myeloma Patients

On September 28, the US FDA permitted marketing of ClonoSEQ assay, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) test used for assessing minimal residual disease (MRD) in multiple myeloma. This is excellent news and strongly supports the validity of MRD testing as a major predictive indicator. In parallel with this announcement, the MRD testing results in the IFM 2009 trial (evaluating VRd ± ASCT) were published in Blood.

Myeloma Warrior Spirit Takes Many Forms

I was recently saddened to learn about a myeloma patient I had seen in consultation many years ago, who, unfortunately, passed away from secondary complications at the age of 76, after 24 years of myeloma. An ASCT (autologous stem cell transplant) had really knocked out his myeloma, which was not a problem thereafter.