The abstracts for the 2017 ASCO annual meeting, to be held June 2nd to June 6th in Chicago, were released late yesterday. Among the 84 myeloma and/or amyloid or plasma cell disorders abstracts, there are 10 oral presentations. There are no blockbuster myeloma presentations this year. Most abstracts deal with results with novel combination therapies incorporating, for example, daratumumab (and other anti-CD38 antibodies), checkpoint inhibitors, venetoclax, pomalidomide, and carfilzomib.

The results of the EMN02/HO95 (Hovon) trial for transplant-eligible patients evaluating the role of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing (Abstract #8011) will be presented. The denosumab and Zometa randomized trial dataset presentation will again illustrate the lesser renal toxicities with denosumab (Abstract #8005). An important analysis evaluates cardiovascular toxicities with carfilzomib (Abstract #8018). An interesting study finds that patients with an elevated BMI who have SMM are more likely to progress—important because of potential weight-loss intervention (Abstract #8032). Several studies look at costs. Overall, there are quite a few interesting observations here that are helpful in defining and refining novel agent treatment strategies moving forward.

Myeloma Summit in Beijing

On May 12th and May 13th, the IMF participated in the 2017 “Myeloma Summit” held in Beijing, China. The IMF was represented in several important events and meetings by Lisa Paik (Senior Vice President of Clinical Education & Research Initiatives), Daniel Navid (Senior Vice President Global Affairs), Dr. Jean-Luc Harousseau, and Dr. Bruno Paiva. Dr. Paiva (Black Swan Research Initiative® investigator from Pamplona, Spain) conducted an MRD training workshop with investigators from five Chinese centers from the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. 

This workshop was very fruitful, with participants demonstrating considerable competence—almost ready to fully implement Next-Generation Flow (NGS) MRD testing in their respective laboratories.

For the clinical presentations and patient seminar organized by the host, Prof. Wenming Chen, Prof. Harousseau was joined by Prof. Meletios Dimopoulos from Athens, Greece. As is usual, the patients were especially interested to receive advice and recommendations from the visiting myeloma experts. This very successful two-day visit strongly solidifies the IMF’s ongoing collaborations with our Chinese colleagues and friends. The IMF team also had the opportunity to meet participants for the upcoming myeloma Master Class, to be held in Los Angeles in August.

Ribbon-cutting for iStopMM clinic

Today, May 18, was the official opening of the iStopMM® clinic in Reykjavik, Iceland. Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson, project leader and professor of hematology at the University of Iceland, welcomed Óttarr Proppé, the Minister of Health, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. This was a wonderful day of celebration and accomplishment for the iStopMM team! Thus far, in fact, the first ten patients have already come through the clinic.

And so, the ongoing global impact of the IMF continues. The collaborations and friendships lead us steadily forward to help patients around the world. 

Image of Dr. Brian G.M. DurieDr. Brian G.M. Durie serves as Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. Additionally, he is Chairman of the IMF's International Myeloma Working Group, a consortium of nearly 200 myeloma experts from around the world. Dr. Durie also leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®.

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