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Latest Myeloma News From the 2019 IMWG/GMAN Meeting

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Published on July 26, 2019

Patient advocate Jack Aiello shares news for those living with multiple myeloma from the 2019 International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) and Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) meetings in Europe. Watch now to hear Jack give an overview of presentations on treatment developments, patient outcomes, current clinical trial research and more.

Click here to learn more about the International Myeloma Working Group. 

Click here to learn more about the Global Myeloma Action Network. 


Transcript | Latest Myeloma News From the 2019 IMWG/GMAN Meeting

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

And the second meeting was a meeting of patient advocates like myself, some are patients, some are caregivers, and these patient advocates, there were 34 of us representing 23 countries. And the goal of GMAN, this Global Myeloma Action Network organization is to share information across countries, all of which have different problems associated with myeloma.  Some countries can't get the drugs that we are able to get easily in the US.  Some countries need to have better awareness.  Some countries don't have myeloma expert doctors in their countries like we have.  

And so we try to share our best practices and what experiences and jobs that we have done within our own country that might be applicable to other countries to help them get past some of those barriers.   

So the three options for those patients are not to be treated at all, to be treated with something that hopefully delays the onset of myeloma, like lenalidomide (Revlimid), or do you want to give them, almost treat them like myeloma patients and give them what might be considered a curative treatment at that point, preventing myeloma.  There are trials going on to answer those questions. So at this point it's a conversation that any smoldering patient should have with their doctor to figure out what the best path forward is.  

There was a lot of discussion with high-risk myeloma, and I think what ended up—we ended up concluding, the doctors ended up concluding, was that there really need to be trials for high?risk myeloma patients.  

And then if you relapse to diseases, wow, that opens a whole issue of what treatments work best. Monoclonal antibodies, especially daratumumab, have become integrated I think into myeloma treatments especially for refractory patients but also making its way to newly diagnosed patients. There are new procedures out there. 

I know that patients have heard of CAR-T therapy.  The presenter at this meeting on CAR-T, she said that there are currently 50 trials going on for CAR-T therapy for myeloma, all trying to address issues of CAR-T that we've already seen.  How can you—we're getting really good responses to treatment for myeloma, but patients are relapsing, so how can you extend the remission of patients?  How can you make sure those T cells persist for a longer periods of time?  Or how can you make sure that those antigens on those myeloma cells don't go away and that therefore the T cells, the reengineered T cells are effective against them.  

Other treatments that are in trials that have shown to be effective so for far, we have this thing called BiTEs, which marry up the myeloma cell with the T cell.  We have something called ADCs, which are antibody drug conjugates, which not only are antibodies against the myeloma cell but then bring this poison in as the conjugate to kill this myeloma cell as well. And there are new other areas as well, so it's really important for patients to stay on top of what's available out there. 

One of the nice things that the IMF did was create a video that's downloadable now from their website that has three doctors presenting essentially what was seen at IMWG as well the ASCO and EHA conferences that were just held.   

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