Working towards a cure for multiple myeloma

In our first panel discussion of the 2017 European Multiple Myeloma Academy (EMMA) meeting in Vienna, Austria, Jesus San Miguel, MD, PhD from the University Clinic of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, Brian Walker, PhD from UAMS Myeloma Institute, Little Rock, AR, Irene Ghobrial, MD from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA and Hervé Avet-Loiseau, MD, PhD from University Hospital Toulouse, France, tackle some challenging questions and look into the future of myeloma treatment; what advances in biology and genetics will help us understand more about how to treat the disease, what diagnostic techniques will be critical, should we understand molecular biology before developing new therapies or should we look to evidence from the clinic? Ultimately, for some myeloma patients, we are getting close to a cure; our first discussion of the day looks at what we need to do to get there. In answer to these questions, our experts cover myeloma initiation and how we can further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind disease progression. They talk about potential genetic risk factors in specific populations and novel diagnostic techniques, such as next-generation sequencing (NGS), which can allow us to detect mutations as well as the usual data obtained from standard fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques. These new molecular diagnostics cost money and, in Europe, we're not currently using them so much – we'll have to overcome a knowledge and financial hurdle in order to make NGS routine practice. There was also debate around the use of targeted therapies; in a complex genetic disease like multiple myeloma, use of targeted therapy will have limited effect, and whilst it is generally agreed that these agents play a role, it is the sequencing and combination of treatments (many of which already exist) that will help us find a cure for this disease. Recorded at the 2017 European Multiple Myeloma Academy (EMMA) in Vienna, Austria. This program was sponsored by Celgene through an unrestricted educational grant to Video Journal of Hematological Oncology. Speaker: Jesús San Miguel, Speaker: Brian Walker, Speaker: Irene Ghobrial, Speaker: Hervé Avet-Loiseau
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