Published on October 19, 2018
At a recent multiple myeloma town meeting in Atlanta an audience member asks, “what determines a good response?” Noted myeloma expert Dr. Jonathan Kaufman, from the Winship Cancer Institute, responds by explaining response, remission, minimal residual disease (MRD) and refractory status. What can myeloma patients in refractory status expect from treatment? Dr. Kaufman also discusses the durability of remission and the impact of innovative therapies. Watch now to learn more.
This town meeting is sponsored by Amgen, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Adaptive Biotechnologies. It is produced by Patient Power in partnership with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
Transcript | How Is Remission Defined for Myeloma Patients With Refractory Status?
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My name is Teresa. My question is I guess to whomever, but Dr. Kaufman, you specifically mentioned that your first remission is generally the longer, so for those of us in refractory can you elaborate a little bit more on the context of remission or the concept of being in remission as opposed to just what quantifies maybe just a good response or what our expectations could be in that refractory status.
Yeah. So remission is an incredibly poorly defined term. And remission is the—whatever the lowest level disease you have after the initial therapy, and so that's really what I mean. And whether that means a complete response, a complete response that's MRD positive, a complete response that's MRD negative, when the myeloma is not growing and active. And so—and that's what I mean when I say remission. I'm not talking about a level. I'm not talking about MRD negativity. Where is the myeloma when it's not growing and active that represents a remission even if we could still see myeloma in the body?
And so somebody who has been refractory to other therapies with a new therapy can get back into remission, and as I said our general knowledge is that every remission, subsequent remission is shorter, that's true until a better therapy comes out. And then that next remission breaks those old rules because we have better therapies.