Updates in Newly Diagnosed and Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma from ASH 2021 - Episode 12

ASH 2021: Key Takeaways for Clinical Practice in Multiple Myeloma

Closing out his discussion on the ASH 2021 meeting, Saad Usmani, MD, shares key takeaways for clinical practice in multiple myeloma.


Saad Z. Usmani, MD: The key clinical takeaway I would say is all of us are paying a lot of attention to the overall response rates and MRD [minimal residual disease] negativity with these frontline clinical trials for our patients. The reason we are doing that is achieving good depth of response is important for our patient survival outcomes. When you’re comparing different options, you pay attention to which option will give your patient the best chance of getting into a good deep response in the newly diagnosed setting during that first year of diagnosis. In the relapsed setting, it’s the same question you’re asking. Which regimen will give me the best likelihood of a patient getting into a good deep response that translates into survival benefits, PFS [progression-free survival] benefits specifically? With that in mind, there were a lot of abstracts presented at ASH [American Society of Hematology annual meeting] with data updates. You’ll hear a lot more on this topic from us in the coming years.

What’s not ready for prime time right now is modifying treatment while patients are going through induction or post-transplantation to try to get to a deep response. You pick the option that will give your patient the best likelihood, but you don’t start using up all the therapies just to get to a deep response. That would be an important message I want to give. Will we get there in the future? Yes. You’ve seen the MASTER trial. We are getting certain patients to a sustained MRD negativity and then peeling therapy off, giving them treatment-free intervals. We are trying to go from this continuous treatment model that we have right now to a fixed-duration treatment model for myeloma, and hopefully, we’ll get there in the next few years.

Transcript edited for clarity.