Dr Mikhael on Unmet Needs to Be Addressed in Multiple Myeloma

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Joseph Mikhael, MD, discusses unmet needs that remain to be addressed in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.

Joseph Mikhael, MD, professor, Applied Cancer Research and Drug Discovery Division, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, City of Hope Cancer Center; chief medical officer, the International Myeloma Foundation; consultant hematologist, director, Myeloma Research, HonorHealth Research Institute, discusses significant unmet needs that remain to be addressed in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.

In multiple myeloma, significant unmet needs persist, highlighting the urgency to develop effective treatments until a cure is found, Mikhael begins. Across the spectrum of multiple myeloma, there is a notable gap in addressing these needs, he adds. Recent research from Iceland has raised questions about the potential benefits of screening, particularly among higher-risk populations, such as African Americans, who face an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma, Mikhael reports.

Key considerations include the approach to managing smoldering multiple myeloma, with discussions focusing on redefining diagnostic criteria and optimizing treatment strategies, he explains. Furthermore, questions arise regarding the optimal duration of induction therapy, the role of transplant in the era of quadruplet regimens, and the potential integration of CAR T-cell therapy into the treatment paradigm, Mikhael expands. Moreover, in heavily relapsed settings, determining the optimal sequencing of therapies remains a challenge to maximize both quantity and quality of life for these patients, he emphasizes.

These unresolved issues should be addressed with a focus on health equity and patient-centric care, Mikhael continues, adding that emphasizing the patient experience throughout treatment is paramount. Despite the complexities, optimism is fueled by recent research advancements and a concerted effort to tackle these challenges comprehensively, he states. Mikhael, who has been deeply involved in myeloma research for 2 decades, finds the progress made in the past year particularly promising. Looking ahead, Mikhael concludes by saying he is hopeful that continued research efforts will lead to further enhancements in patient care and outcomes in the ongoing battle against this devastating disease.

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