The main prognostic factors and why minimal residual disease is becoming crucial in multiple myeloma

Hervé Avet-Loiseau, MD, PhD from the Cancer Research Center of Toulouse, Toulouse, France discusses his talk on prognostic factors in multiple myeloma (MM) held at the 2016 World Congress on Controversies in Multiple Myeloma (COMy) in Paris, France. According to Prof Avet-Loiseau, it is important to categorize the prognostic factors. Some prognostic factors, such as age and co-morbidities, are related to the patient. He further discusses prognostic factors related to the tumor clone, such as cytogenetics, and prognostic factors that are only identified after treatment, i.e. response to treatment. Prof Avet-Loiseau argues that in light of minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment and due to the high sensitivity of next generation flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing (NGS), the response to treatment prognostic factor is crucial. He argues that MRD will become the primary objective for trials, drug approval, academic trials and will also be used to define treatments. The use of MRD will further impact on the use of maintenance therapy, which in turn, may have a positive impact on the cost of treating patients.

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