New initiatives in the treatment of myeloma

Martin Kaiser

Martin Kaiser, MD, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, discusses new initiative in the treatment of myeloma at the 2017 British Society for Haematology (BSH) Annual Scientific Meeting in Brighton, UK. The Myeloma XI trial (NCT01554852) is a useful resource that was only possible because of patients willing to undergo bone marrow transplants, a painful procedure, in order to improve treatment for future generations. It will provide the opportunity to identify new biomarkers and identify the efficacy of different drugs. A variety of genes are associated with myeloma, and a definitive cause is not known. Currently, whole genome sequencing is ongoing in these patients as it has become more affordable. It can be done on a large scale, and it is unlikely that anything will be missed. Another initiative is varying the intensity of treatment depending on age, in order to improve outcomes. Treatment of younger, fitter patients can be intensified, with older, more frail patients having a dose reduction, and longer gaps between treatments. A new trial is opening in the UK very soon, involving thorough genetic testing, enabling patients to access drugs that they may not have otherwise been able to.

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