Dr. Martin on MRD Status in Multiple Myeloma

Thomas G. Martin, MD
Published: Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018



Thomas G. Martin, MD, clinical professor of medicine, Adult Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, associate director, Myeloma Program, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); co-leader, Hematopoietic Malignancies Program, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses minimal residual disease (MRD) status in multiple myeloma.

MRD testing is commonly being done at academic institutions. At UCSF, physicians have been doing it for the past 2 to 5 years and have a good track record with doing next-generation sequencing for MRD testing, says Martin.

However, Martin explains that it is only being used to assess prognosis. Physicians are not making treatment decisions based on MRD status. It is known that patients who achieve an MRD-negative state have a longer progression-free survival, and for that reason, MRD serves as a prognostic marker. In terms of treatment, physicians do not yet know what to do with this information. For example, whether physicians should not give maintenance, or potentially shorten maintenance. Martin believes this will be addressed in future clinical trials, as many ongoing clinical trials are using this as an endpoint.
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Thomas G. Martin, MD, clinical professor of medicine, Adult Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, associate director, Myeloma Program, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); co-leader, Hematopoietic Malignancies Program, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses minimal residual disease (MRD) status in multiple myeloma.

MRD testing is commonly being done at academic institutions. At UCSF, physicians have been doing it for the past 2 to 5 years and have a good track record with doing next-generation sequencing for MRD testing, says Martin.

However, Martin explains that it is only being used to assess prognosis. Physicians are not making treatment decisions based on MRD status. It is known that patients who achieve an MRD-negative state have a longer progression-free survival, and for that reason, MRD serves as a prognostic marker. In terms of treatment, physicians do not yet know what to do with this information. For example, whether physicians should not give maintenance, or potentially shorten maintenance. Martin believes this will be addressed in future clinical trials, as many ongoing clinical trials are using this as an endpoint.



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