The recent increase in approved, highly effective combination therapies for patients with multiple myeloma has led the way to redefining the goals of therapy. Recent meta-analyses show that minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity is associated with longer progression-free and overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma. With the use of modern combination therapy, more than 60 percent of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients achieve complete responses and MRD negativity. Emerging data indicate that between 90 and 95 percent of patients with early myeloma (smoldering myeloma) can achieve complete responses and MRD negativity. In this session, speakers will review current scientific evidence and provide clinical perspectives on the optimal time to start therapy, the goals of therapy, and the use of continuous and/or sequential therapy.
Dr. Ola Landgren will discuss the optimal time to start therapy in patients with plasma cell disorders. He will discuss data from treatment studies for patients with high-risk smoldering myeloma, and he will compare results with those obtained from patients treated for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Dr. Landgren will discuss models to define high-risk smoldering myeloma, and he will outline future directions for the field.
Dr. Faith Davies will discuss how highly effective combination therapies for patients with multiple myeloma have led the way to redefining the goals of therapy. She will review different methods for establishing deep treatment responses, and she will show how molecular assays, due to better sensitivity, can define deeper responses better than flow cytometry approaches. Dr. Davies will review data showing that deeper remissions translate into better clinical outcomes.
Dr. Heinz Ludwig will review and discuss data supporting continuous and sequential therapy in various clinical settings, including newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, early relapsed myeloma, and relapsed myeloma. He will also review data on continuous therapy versus sequential therapy in patients with high-risk and standard-risk multiple myeloma. Based on available data, Dr. Ludwig will address the need for long-term therapy with either multiple agents or a single agent, and for which patients.