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ESH MM 2018 | Opinion: MRD sequencing test approval in multiple myeloma

There is much excitement surrounding the recent FDA approval of a next-generation sequencing test for measurable residual disease (MRD) in multiple myeloma (MM). Here, Irene Ghobrial, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, discusses her thoughts on this promising MRD development and how it could affect the management of MM. This video was recorded at the European School of Haematology (ESH) International Conference on Multiple Myeloma 2018, held in Mandelieu, France.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

Already we’ve been talking about MRD for several years, now it’s reality we have to actually incorporate it into the clinical trials. I think the biggest change that will happen when we start incorporating MRD, is whether we change therapy based on MRD. I think this is where certainly MRD will make a big difference.

Currently we change therapy if someone has a complete remission, or a stringent complete remission, now we would have a another depth of response for our patients and achieving that depth of response would be very important for us to decide should we go on maintenance for a very long time, or should we stop therapy...

Already we’ve been talking about MRD for several years, now it’s reality we have to actually incorporate it into the clinical trials. I think the biggest change that will happen when we start incorporating MRD, is whether we change therapy based on MRD. I think this is where certainly MRD will make a big difference.

Currently we change therapy if someone has a complete remission, or a stringent complete remission, now we would have a another depth of response for our patients and achieving that depth of response would be very important for us to decide should we go on maintenance for a very long time, or should we stop therapy. So, for the first time we’re actually saying: Can we stop therapy for multiple myeloma? Are we achieving a surrogate for a cure in those patients? And that’s that MRD test. Again, hopefully in the future we get better and better ways of assessing MRD, but that’s the first step for us.

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