From the Clinical Director

By News Staff

The Myeloma Center has several CAR T-cells and bispecific antibodies available both as FDA-approved drugs and under the auspices of a clinical trial. Our challenge is to use these drugs in an optimal fashion and tailor the best treatment to the needs of individual patients. At the moment, these treatments are used to treat relapse, but clinical trials will answer whether these novel therapies can be used up front and even replace autologous stem cell transplant.

Our Myeloma Center has also conducted minimal residual disease (MRD) tests on bone marrow since 2013 to detect very small amounts of myeloma even when bone marrow looks normal under the microscope. Important research questions are whether therapy can be stopped early when patients have several negative MRD tests. Conversely, in some patients with high-risk disease positive MRD tests may mean that therapy needs to be optimized.

I hope that you find pleasure in reading the positive experiences reported by our patients. You will also find further details regarding our clinical trials as well basic science efforts led by Professor Fenghuang (Frank) Zhan, who directs our translational research program. This issue also highlights the efforts of our Intake staff to bring new patients seamlessly into the program. Our support staff is integral to the success of our program.

It is an exciting time in the myeloma field. We have been advocating for well over a decade that myeloma is a curable disease. I hope that the prospect of cure can be offered to many more patients in the near future with the ongoing advancements and individualization of therapy.

Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D. MRCP(UK) FRCPath
Clinical Director of the Myeloma Center
Charles and Clydene Scharlau Chair for Hematologic Malignancies Research