Benjamin Diamond, MD, discusses the rationale for examining long-term minimal residual disease in patients with multiple myeloma.
Benjamin Diamond, MD, a hematology-oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the rationale for examining long-term minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with multiple myeloma.
A need exists to examine what serial MRD testing means in the context of continuous maintenance therapy, which is a standard of care for all patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, according to Diamond. While sustained MRD negativity over the course of 1 year is prognostically good for patients, not much is being done with this information, Diamond says.
As patients are being treated with maintenance therapy for many years, it is sensible to examine what MRD status indicates during that time, and what changes in status can mean for outcomes—specifically with regard to progression-free survival. For example, a trial conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center examined MRD dynamics. The investigators checked the MRD status of participants every year who had received continuous lenalidomide maintenance therapy. This is just one of the many efforts being made to examine the role of MRD in multiple myeloma, Diamond concludes.