The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) confirmed that 34 abstracts submitted by the organization will be presented at the 61st annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), held December 7-10, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Key presentations include data on new biomarkers to predict disease progression, identification of ultra-high risk patients, novel immunotherapy approaches and advances in minimal residual disease (MRD) testing.

Multiple myeloma (MM), a malignancy of the antibody producing plasma cell, which exhibits a high degree of genetic diversity between patients, is the second most common blood cancer.

Based on data from the American Cancer Society, an estimated 30,770 adults (16,400 men and 14,730 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2019 and an estimated 12,770 people are predicted to die from the disease.

The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 47%, versus 31% in 1999.

MMRF CoMMpass Study™
From the 34 presentations to be presented during the annual meeting, 22 will include data from the highly influential MMRF CoMMpass Study™, a longitudinal study of patients with newly diagnosed active multiple myeloma, which represents the largest genomic data set of any cancer and is one of the most widely published studies in multiple myeloma.

The remaining 12 abstracts include data from MMRF-supported research programs and presentations on clinical trials supported by the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC).

Collaborative research
“Collaborative research efforts have led to great progress in the treatment and understanding of multiple myeloma,” said Daniel Auclair, Ph.D, Chief Scientific Officer of the MMRF.

“Through the CoMMpass Study, we are supplying myeloma researchers world-wide with information they need to formulate new hypotheses and generate discoveries around the genetic drivers of myeloma, enabling us to better personalize care and treatment expectations as well as speed the discovery and development of new and novel therapies.”

CoMMpass Study highlights include:

  • A crowd-sourcing effort using CoMMpass data that identified PHF19 as a gene that is strongly associated with disease progression
  • Characterization of new genomic markers that can help predict high-risk disease
  • Discovery of genomic alterations associated with the development of plasma cell leukemia
  • Identification of epigenomic alterations that are prognostic of clinical outcomes
  • Description of genomic differences that may account for increased incidence of multiple myeloma in African Americans; a separate study on myeloma in African Americans – using samples from our MMRF tissue bank – has helped identify several markers that are significantly associated with myeloma risk in African Americans

To date, the MMRF’s ongoing investment to advance immunotherapy approaches, as well as research efforts focused on the use of minimal residual disease (MRD) and early disease, have resulted in several important findings.

New immunotherapy data include:

  • An analysis of CoMMpass immune data revealed that PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors may be effective for a subtype of patients with high mutation burden
  • Novel findings from an MMRF-supported study on CAR T-cell therapy in combination with personalized vaccines

New investigation of the use of MRD testing includes:

A landmark phase II MMRC study, which is the first to use MRD measurement to directly compare the efficacy of lenalidomide versus ixazomib maintenance therapy after autologous stem cell transplant and consolidation with lenalidomide, ixazomib and dexamethasone in newly diagnosed myeloma patients

Early disease breakthroughs include:

  • State of the art analyses of MMRC tissue bank samples from smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) patients reveal new biomarkers that may predict progression to symptomatic myeloma
  • Work from the Prevention Project, supported by the Perelman Family Foundation, offers new insights into the mechanisms of progression, including a potential new tool for use in monitoring SMM progression status

Early data from an MMRC supported Phase II study of daratumumab in patients with early disease (high-risk MGUS/low-risk smoldering myeloma) shows daratumumab is very well-tolerated, with the majority of patients exhibiting a response and no patients progressing to active disease

The MMRF CoMMpass Study opened in July of 2011 and now includes 1,150 patients from 76 sites in the United States, Canada and European Union.

Data from the MMRF CoMMpass Study is made available to researchers via the MMRF’s Researcher Gateway, an online, open-access portal designed to make key genomic and clinical data available for additional study.

Clinical trial
Relating Clinical Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile (CoMMpass) – NCT01454297