Dr. Ghobrial on Future Efforts to Prevent the Development of Multiple Myeloma


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Irene Ghobrial, MD, discusses future efforts to prevent the development of multiple myeloma. 

Irene Ghobrial, MD, director, Clinical Investigator Research Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Lavine Family Chair for Preventative Cancer Therapies, and professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, discusses future efforts to prevent the development of multiple myeloma. 

Future research efforts in this disease may focus on bringing immunotherapy earlier on in the treatment journey, even as early as smoldering myeloma, when the immune system is stronger and tumor burden is lower, according to Ghobrial. The goal is to harness the immune system to eliminate myeloma without the need for conventional therapy, Ghobrial explains.

Other efforts are being focused on precision interception in smoldering myeloma, such as giving patients venetoclax (Venclexta) if they have a t(11;14) translocation, Ghobrial explains. Certain biomarkers can indicate which form of immunotherapy is optimal for each patient; these approaches can include bispecific antibodies, CAR T-cell therapy, or natural killer cell therapies, Ghobrial says.

Those who have high-risk smoldering myeloma should not just be treated with 1 approach, Ghobrial adds. The future should consist of stronger risk stratification, a better understanding of who will progress to multiple myeloma, and more insight on how to effectively leverage immune or genomic biomarkers to inform the appropriate therapeutic intervention for these patients, Ghobrial concludes.

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