Is Finding the Key to the Treatment of High Risk Multiple Myeloma the Road to Cure for ALL MYELOMA?

Dr. Rafael Fonseca Discussed Progress in High Risk Multiple Myeloma on the April Myeloma Cure Panel broadcast.  Dr. Fonseca is the deputy director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Getz Family Professor of Cancer and professor of medicine, Scottsdale, Arizona. To listen to a rebroadcast of the program CLICK HERE. To view a recent summary by Pat Killingsworth please CLICK HERE. More information on the program follows:

I remember reading an interview on high risk disease which featured Dr. Rafael Fonseca (Mayo, Scottsdale) and Dr. Bart Barlogie (UAMS, Little Rock).  During that presentation from 2007 these two doctors, arguably two of the most knowledgeable about high risk myeloma in the world, were perplexed at the lack of progress in high risk myeloma treatment.  To read this primer on high risk myeloma CLICK HERE
I believe these two myeloma specialists remain in the leadership position in the treatment of high risk myeloma.  In the six years since this presentation, there has been a lot of progress in overcoming high risk features.   

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The deletion of chromosome 13 is no longer considered high risk with the use of Velcade, and the 4:14 translocation is less high risk if Velcade is used in long term maintenance therapy. Gene Expression Profiling and the use of FISH tests have become more  widespread  as a measure of risk, and we now have Kyprolis and Pomalyst and the new monoclonal antibodies.  All of these have yet to be fully evaluated for their effectiveness in the treatment of high risk disease. 

So why is success with high risk disease mean so much to the future of survival of myeloma patients? Because as myeloma continues to be treated, its genetic profile changes and continues to take on more high risk features and becomes resistant or refractory to prior treatments.  Therefore most patients with long term continuous treatment will have high risk features which will be untreatable with current methods. So most patients other than those low risk patients who have chosen to go for the cure and make it to 10 years in CR, will be confronted with high risk features.  Dr. Fonseca is involved or is familiar with the most recent high risk clinical trial results, as well as data generated from 60 years of myeloma survival results from the Mayo Clinic’s extensive data pool.  

Dr. Rafael Fonseca will be discused the progress being made in High Risk Multiple Myeloma Survival on April 14, 2014, 6:00 p.m. EST on the Myeloma Cure Panel broadcast.  Dr. Fonseca is the deputy director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Getz Family Professor of Cancer and professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, as well as site director, hematological malignancies, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona.  To listen to the rebroadcast CLICK HERE.