Parameswaran Hari, MD, MRCP, the Armand J. Quick/William F. Stapp Professor of Hematology, and the chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, at the Medical College of Wisconsin, discusses the role of minimal residual disease (MRD) in multiple myeloma.
MRD is increasingly measurable in today’s landscape with flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing. These modalities can measure what is called MRD-0 or no disease detection. Recent frontline trials suggest that MRD can be a powerful predictor of progression-free survival and overall survival. Thus, this suggests that getting a patient to an MRD–negative state is a good surrogate for longer survival, Hari says.
Notably, he adds, MRD might be the key to curing patients with multiple myeloma since it signifies an absence of detectable disease. It is also possible that patients with MRD negativity can live the rest of their lives disease-free. There is a lot of excitement surrounding MRD in myeloma, but there are still patients who relapse even though they’ve achieved MRD negativity.