Given the array of active second generation therapeutic agents presented at international myeloma workshop, Profs Keith Stewart and Kenneth Anderson explain how these drugs can be used most appropriately. With effective use of these new drug combinations, clinicians are now able to achieving complete molecular responses (CMR), something that was previously only possible with allogeneic stem cell transplant.
Maintenance therapy has been shown to be associated with highly beneficial effects in melanoma patients but it is not yet clear how long this treatment should be continued for. CMR monitoring technologies such as PCR and multi-flow immunofluorescent monitoring could potentially become a key tool to help clinicians make this decision. Profs Stewart and Anderson discuss these advances and outline how new therapeutic agents, a better understanding of the site which is being targeted and better designed trials have shifted the perception of myeloma from being incurable to a chronic disease.