Multiple myeloma highlights from ASH 2017

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Published: 12 Dec 2017
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Prof Meral Beksac - Ankara University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey

Professor Meral Beksaç, a haematologist from Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey, spoke to ecancer about treatment options for patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM) at the 59th annual American Society of Haematology conference in Atlanta.

Professor Beksaç started off by discussing the reclassification of smouldering MM, and highlighted a study, presented by Craig Hofmeister, where patients were randomised into three arms receiving either a long, intermediate or short dosing schedule of singe agent daratumumab. The estimated 12-month Progression-Free Survival (PFS) rates were 98%, 93%, and 89% in long, intermediate, and short arms respectively, and Professor Beksaç concluded that it was possible to achieve Very Good Partial Response (VGPR) rates with early interventional treatment in MM patients.

The conversation then featured the EMN02/HO95 study, presented by Dr Michele Cavo; an international trial that was conducted with the European Myeloma Network, that initially enrolled ~1,500 to receive either four cycles of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) vs High-Dose Melphalan (HDM) with Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT). The 3-year PFS results for this study was 61% for all patients. The updated results of this study, also presented by Dr Michele Cavo at ASH, found that patients randomised to receive two ASCT was superior over one ASCT in terms of prolonged PFS and Overall Survival (OS), which confirms the necessity to consider transplants as an option to improve patient outcomes.

Finally, Professor Beksaç discussed how patients are becoming increasingly aware of the treatments available on the market to treat MM, with some even attending conferences such as ASH. Professor Beksaç stated that it was important for patients, as well as the wider healthcare community, to be educated on the most exciting data from global conferences as it could lead to a patient’s MM being identified earlier, offering them a better chance for their disease to be managed and controlled. Professor Beksaç also discusses the initiatives that she is involved with to help educate the community in her home country of Turkey.

This programme has been supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Takeda