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Press Release

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center Collaborate on Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Study in Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Posted on: 13 Sep 16

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced a collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to launch a new clinical trial for multiple myeloma (MM) patients. The trial, “Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, Dexamethasone in Newly-Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma: a Translational MRD Study”, will integrate highly effective, modern combination therapy with genetic sequencing, to help define predictors of sustained MRD negativity.

C. Ola Landgren, MD, Chief of the Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City, is one of the global leaders and pioneers in the field of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing in multiple myeloma. In parallel, Dr. Landgren and his team are leaders in the development of the next generation of modern therapy for multiple myeloma. Recently, they reported remarkably high rates of MRD negativity using their treatment strategies.1

"We are thrilled to offer newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients our latest clinical trial in the fall of 2016. It is an improved version of our combination therapy integrated with our latest genetic profiling assays. MMRF is graciously supporting the science behind our study" says Dr. Landgren. "The goals are to reach a sustained MRD negativity in as many patients as possible, and to understand mechanisms of MRD in those who have residual disease so we can eradicate the last tumor cells." Dr. Landgren is leading this new clinical trial together with his colleague and Principal Investigator Neha Korde, MD, Assistant Attending Physician, Myeloma Service, MSK.

MRD is defined as the level of disease still detectable in MM patients after their treatment regimen is completed. Recent work has shown that very low or undetectable levels of MRD after completion of treatment (i.e., a “deep response”) is associated with improved patient outcomes including longer survival. MRD measurement may offer a faster and more accurate assessment of how effective a treatment is in an individual patient; use of this test, pending approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, could allow clinical trials to proceed more rapidly, thereby cutting costs and potentially speeding new treatments to patients more quickly than ever before. The sensitivity of MRD measurement also holds the promise to help doctors determine –in the coming future- if and when treatment may be stopped or re-started based on a patient’s MRD status

"Based on ongoing genomics studies advanced by the MMRF, we know that multiple myeloma is genetically heterogeneous across patients. This new collaboration will further define individual patients' genetic fingerprints of multiple myeloma at diagnosis and track myeloma subclones during therapy, representing another step toward advancing Precision Medicine for all myeloma patients”, stated Daniel Auclair, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research at MMRF.

The study is open to newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma patients independent of their eligibility for an autologous stem cell transplant. The genetic sequencing will be done at diagnosis and during therapy, allowing molecular tracking of the disease. The number of cycles of therapy will be determined by the individual patient's response. The study design is single-arm and it is only open at MSK.

About Multiple Myeloma (MM)

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 30,330 adults (17,900 men and 12,430 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2016 and an estimated 12,650 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 47%, versus 31% in 1999.

About Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation:

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 more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of its total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. To learn more, visit

1. JAMA Oncol. 2015 Sep;1(6):746-54. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2010.

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Last updated on: 13/09/2016

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