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BCMA Biomarker Updates in Myeloma

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Published on June 6, 2018

Advances in technology for multiple myeloma prognostic tools may help patients understand their disease’s course with less invasive techniques. What can one drop of blood reveal about your myeloma condition? Can it detect whether treatment is working? On-site at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, Patient Power Founder, Andrew Schorr, is joined by expert Dr. James Berenson to discuss the latest developments in biomarkers to evaluate change in clinical status, progression, and measure the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) expressed on myeloma cells. Dr. Berenson also shares how identifying biomarkers may help doctors anticipate patient outcomes and find more suitable therapies. Watch now to learn more.


Transcript | BCMA Biomarker Updates in Myeloma

And what we've shown is that BCMA on the surface of the myeloma, it's shed in the blood.  And what goes in the blood you can obviously measure it.  And what we're were lucky enough to find out, number one, it turns over every day, so the conventional marker, the M protein, turns over every month.  So, if you will, with the M protein it's like you're looking at the life of a sun in the next galaxy so that by the time it gets to its really old life, where the new marker is like looking at the light of our sun. You get a much quicker read.  So we've now been able to show that change in clinical status is assessed way more rapidly with BCMA than your usual marker. 

The other nice thing about it, as you mentioned, it's a drop of blood.  It's literally four microliters. 

Now, we need to do a lot more work.  This is a small trial to confirm that finding, but it's very promising data from early studies.  And we are spreading this well beyond simply myeloma.  So CLL, that Andrew knows a lot about… 

We also know from these studies with the NIH that the time to progression, you can find it much earlier with this marker than you can from conventional markers or from clinical things that happen to patients with CLL.  

So it works all different ways, but it's about shining a light easily, maybe with just a simple drop of blood. So what is your specific situation now. Is that right?  

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