Los Angeles, CA, Dec. 4, 2019—The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) announced today that four important research studies supported by the organization's Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) to find a cure for multiple myeloma will be presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in Orlando, Dec. 7 - 10. Approximately 32,000 new cases of multiple myeloma—a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells—are diagnosed annually in the U.S. The disease is currently incurable, but thanks to tremendous advances in treatment, is highly treatable.
The IMF activities at ASH 2019 highlight the strength of each of the organization’s four pillars: myeloma research, patient education, patient support and patient advocacy:
"The four BSRI-supported studies presented at ASH this year underscore the critical importance of early diagnosis to treat and possibly ultimately cure the disease," said IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie, MD.
- New results from the IMF-supported CESAR trial: The goal of CESAR, which treats high-risk smoldering myeloma with carfilzomib + lenalidomide + dexamethasone + autologous stem-cell transplant, is to identify patients who will have sustained minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity five years and beyond (and are potentially cured) versus those who might relapse. The ASH 2019 update of the overall results shows that 98% of patients are alive at more than 30 months, with 93% in remission and 56% MRD-negative at the 10-6 level. The other CESAR trial presentation reports the results of mass spectrometry (Qip) of serum samples. Here, 18 MRD-negative patients were found to be positive using Qip to detect low levels of myeloma protein.
- Two IMF-supported studies from the University of Pamplona: One study is of the types of T cells found in the bone marrow and blood of myeloma patients. It shows that T cells that react against myeloma cells have a pattern that is negative for the antigen CD27. These T cells build up in patients responding to treatment. The other Pamplona study is the first to report that mutations found in early (“progenitor”) cells in the bone marrow are CD34 positive. This study suggests that damaged B cells in the bone marrow could be a source of myeloma cells. This insight that will play a role in efforts to develop curative therapies.
- Black Swan Research Investigators Meeting, Dec. 5: Investigators will report updates on more than a dozen IMF-supported research projects currently in progress around the world focused on a cure.
- i2TEAMM Meeting, Dec. 5: Co-led by IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie, MD, this group of researchers is working to validate MRD testing as a surrogate endpoint superior to traditional endpoints, such as CR (complete remission) or even sCR (stringent complete response) in myeloma clinical trials.
- International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Breakfast Meeting, Dec. 7: The 200-plus members of the IMWG, the IMF's research division, collaborate on a broad range of myeloma research projects. At ASH, members will preview the top ASH 2019 abstracts and review ongoing and new IMWG research projects.
- Brian D. Novis Research Award Reception, Dec. 7: Funded through donations from private individuals, the IMF's annual research grants—named for the organization's co-founder—enable investigators to become established in the field of myeloma. IMF-funded research has led to many publications in peer-reviewed journals and to a greater understanding of myeloma. Grant awardees will be joined by myeloma patients, many of whom help raise research funding.
- "Approaches to Achieve the Best Possible Outcomes in Myeloma,” Dec. 6: This popular IMF-sponsored satellite symposium at ASH attracts an overflow crowd each year. Moderated by Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, it features panelists Shaji Kumar, MD; Philippe Moreau, MD; S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD; Jesús F. San Miguel, MD, PhD; and Thomas G. Martin, MD.
- "Making Sense of Treatment," the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Livestream Conference Series, Dec. 9, 8:30 – 9:30 pm ET: Leading myeloma experts Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, Dr. Joseph Mikhael (IMF Chief Medical Officer) and Dr. María-Victoria Mateos will tackle questions facing myeloma doctors and patients in light of study results presented at ASH. Available online, both live and archived.
- IMF-TV: Top myeloma experts and investigators at ASH will share their opinions and summarize the most significant research findings in a series of brief videos, posted daily from Orlando.
- “Best of ASH 2019: What Patients and Caregivers Need to Know,” Jan. 9, 7:00 pm ET: This IMF teleconference summarizes research findings for myeloma patients and caregivers.
IMF at ASH Social Media Team: The IMF brings more than a dozen myeloma patient and caregiver representatives to ASH, where they report to the community from a patient's perspective. The IMF's dynamic social media team consistently ranks in the "Top 10 Most Influential" list of ASH attendees on Twitter. Follow @IMFmyeloma reporting with the hashtags #ASH19 and #IMFASH19. Blogs posted at www.ash2019blogs.myeloma.org.
- Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) Breakfast, Dec. 6: GMAN is a patient advocacy umbrella group that convenes international members and partners to share best practices, address mutual areas of concern, and elevate myeloma awareness.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.
Cashmere Road Media
Manager, Marketing & Communications, the IMF