Dr. Raje on Key Challenges Faced in Multiple Myeloma

Noopur Raje, MD, discusses the current challenges faced in the multiple myeloma treatment paradigm.

Noopur Raje, MD, director of the Multiple Myeloma Program, Medical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, discusses the current challenges faced in the multiple myeloma treatment paradigm.

An abundance of available options within the space presents its own set of challenges, but this is a good problem to have, says Raje. While it is fortunate that so many treatments are now available for patients with multiple myeloma, choosing the right therapy can prove to be difficult, according to Raje.

A more serious issue is that some disease subsets still do not always benefit from available options, despite the many advances that have been made in recent years, says Raje. Patients with high-risk disease are still doing poorly and comprise an unmet medical need within the myeloma space. Efforts to rectify this problem are focused on incorporating certain agents earlier on in the course of the disease, adds Raje.

Additionally, there is a great opportunity to improve the treatment of patients with extramedullary disease, which is incredibly difficult to treat. Although some of the new agents have the potential to treat this population, clinical trials do not currently permit the enrollment of those patients because there currently isn't a way to measure their disease burden, explains Raje. Once some of these drugs receive regulatory approval, investigators can change the natural history of high-risk disease and transform the treatment of those with extramedullary disease, concludes Raje.