April 7, 2013

MMRF Newsflash from IMW 2013 - Volume 3

The final few presentations continued to reflect the themes from the previous days, particularly surrounding the identification of markers to better predict prognosis and response to treatment. First, the French (IFM) group offered new prognostic indicators (ie, a combination of ISS stating, LDH levels and the presence of t(4;14) or del17p) that, in several large trials involving various treatment regimens, predicted disease progression and overall survival with a high degree of consistency. The UK group presented further data on the use of MRD to better assess response and predict patient outcome, again, regardless of treatments. And, finally, Keith Stewart from the Mayo Clinic presented new data on cereblon, which had previously been identified as a target for the IMiDs (Thalomid, Revlimid and Pomalyst). Expression of cereblon does seem to correlate to response, regardless of the IMiD, indicating that it has potential value as a biomarker for additional exploration.

The MMRF also had the opportunity to address the IMW participants on the last day. We showed our most recent organizational video and shared a few comments, reflecting on the progress we have made as a community over the past 10 years and the historic opportunities before us to rapidly accelerate progress together. Our remarks were well-received, including acknowledgement by a Japanese MM patient (and hematologist) who gushed over how much of an impact the Foundation has had as well as from one of the pioneers of MM research – Dr. Bob Kyle from the Mayo Clinic.

Many of these final presentations referenced the progress envisioned possible by the next IMW which will be in Rome in 2015, and we are certainly enthusiastic about having many more answers to the questions around patient classification and matching patients to treatments most likely to benefit them by then. Stay tuned…