Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, University of Torino and Adaptive Biotechnologies Work to Speed Novel Minimal Residual Disease Monitoring Technologies to Patients - Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, University of Torino and Adaptive Biotechnologies Work to Speed Novel Minimal Residual Disease Monitoring Technologies to Patients

NORWALK, Conn. & SEATTLE – April 14, 2015 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), in collaboration with the University of Torino (UofT) and Adaptive Biotechnologies, today announced a collaboration to perform sequencing-based assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) on hundreds of multiple myeloma (MM) patients over a five year period. The purpose of this initiative is to investigate a new approach to monitoring MRD.

This collaboration, partially supported by Amgen, will be part of the INSIDE MM-1 study, led by Professor Antonio Palumbo from UofT. Professor Palumbo presented promising results of an earlier study at the 2013 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. This earlier study, funded by a 2010 Diagnostics Investment Award from the MMRF, set the stage for INSIDE MM-1, a groundbreaking, comparative, clinical disease monitoring trial. More than 400 newly diagnosed MM patients will be enrolled in INSIDE MM-1 and will receive a combination of carfilzomib and lenalidomide, followed by a bone marrow transplant with or without maintenance. Patients will be monitored for MRD using both flow cytometry and Adaptive Biotechnologies’ clonoSEQ™ MRD test at regular intervals from initial diagnosis for up to five years after initial treatment.

“The intention of INSIDE MM-1 is to rapidly and systematically assess the accuracy and reliability of sequence-based measurements of MRD compared to the most advanced flow cytometry methodology in a structured manner,” said Professor Palumbo of UofT. “Improving the detection of disease response to the best available therapies with the right technologies and as early as possible in treatment can help lead to the most profound and durable responses for our patients.”

“Adaptive Biotechnologies is pleased that the MMRF has recognized the value of incorporating our next-generation sequencing-based approach to measuring minimal residual disease into this important clinical study,” said Tom Willis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Diagnostic Products of Adaptive Biotechnologies. “We are confident that the increased sensitivity the clonoSEQ MRD test offers over flow cytometry will be shown to have prognostic value, which will allow better differentiation of patient responses and more personalized treatment strategies.”

Novel drugs have been recently introduced in the treatment of MM that have led to significant improvement in quality of response and prolonged overall survival (OS). There is increasing evidence that the depth of response correlates with progression-free survival (PFS) and OS in both young and elderly MM patients. In myeloma, residual tumor cells can still be present despite the achievement of complete response. Therefore, more sensitive techniques are needed to measure the level of complete response.

The MMRF has initiated a series of precision medicine initiatives, including the CoMMpass StudySM (Relating Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile), a unique longitudinal, clinical-molecular study of 1,000 patients with newly-diagnosed active MM. The purpose is to advance the understanding of the molecular basis of the disease, as well as patient response to myeloma therapies, and use this critical information to develop personalized treatments that target the underlying disease biology. Through CoMMpass, the MMRF has been assessing MRD throughout each patient’s journey with the disease using both flow cytometry and circulating multiple myeloma cells approaches.

“This current work using Adaptive Biotechnologies’ test will strongly complement our other activities in the field of MRD and will help us rapidly advance the most promising technology for our patients and for the myeloma community,” said Walter Capone, President and CEO of the MMRF. “Sensitive and accurate assessment of a patient’s response to treatment is a crucial step in accelerating the development of new therapies and bringing truly personalized treatment to patients with multiple myeloma and other cancers.”

About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 26,760 adults (14,000 men and 12,760 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2015 and an estimated 11,240 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 45%, versus 28% in 1998.

About Adaptive Biotechnologies
Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation is a platform-based, diagnostic-driven company that leverages NGS to profile T-Cell and B-Cell Receptors. This breakthrough enables in-depth characterization of the adaptive immune system, which is the primary defense against cancer. By incorporating immunosequencing into clinical care, Adaptive can enhance the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of cancer patients. For more information, please visit

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $275 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming.

SOURCE: Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Adaptive Biotechnologies


Sharon Saias, MMRF, 203-652-0211,

Sara Noonan, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, 617-761-6733,

Sylvia Zaich, Adaptive Biotechnologies, 650-243-3949,