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The Most Important Questions Facing Myeloma Experts in 2016

Close to one hundred members of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) gathered in Copenhagen from June 7th to 9th, just prior to the European Hematology Association (EHA) meeting, for the seventh annual IMWG Summit. This important and prestigious meeting allows myeloma experts from around the globe to discuss pressing issues and to set an agenda of publications, clinical trials, and advocacy efforts for the coming year.

Myeloma Experts of the IMWG Tackle Soaring Costs of Care

Recognizing our responsibility to lead the way in addressing costs effectively, members of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), the research arm of the IMF, launched a plan of action at a special session of the June 2016 annual meeting held in Copenhagen this year.

Takeda Receives Marketing Authorization in Canada for NINLARO™ (ixazomib) in Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

NINLARO™ is the first and only oral proteasome inhibitor approved to provide a new treatment option for adult patients living with multiple myeloma in Canada who have received at least one prior therapy

NLB New Publications and Resources

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The IMF’s International Myeloma Working Group Establishes Updated Yardstick for Disease Assessment in the Evolving Treatment Landscape of 2016

 New Categories of Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Negativity

 Provide Clinical Trial Endpoints and Framework for Cure

Daratumumab (DARZALEX®) Granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by U.S. FDA for Use in Combination with Standard of Care Regimens for Patients with Multiple Myeloma
FDA action underscores potential clinical benefit of daratumumab as a backbone therapy in combination with either a proteasome inhibitor (PI) or an immunomodulatory agent for patients who have received at least one prior therapy. Marks the second Breakthrough Therapy Designation for daratumumab

IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®: ASCENT Trial

Dr. Shaji Kumar of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discusses the exciting new Black Swan Research Initiative® clinical trial: ASCENT, which stands for Aggressive Smoldering Cure Evaluating Novel Rx Transplant.

In the ASCENT trial (which will begin enrolling patients later this year), high-risk smoldering myeloma patients will receive intense therapy for two years. Dr. Kumar, lead investigator of the trial, says he hopes that researchers will be able to prove that it is safe to treat these patients and get them to a sustained MRD-negative status.

iStopMM (Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma)

In this video, Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson of the University of Iceland describes the exciting new Black Swan Research Initiative® study, iStopMM (Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma). As part of the iStopMM study, 140,000 Icelanders over the age of 40 will have their blood samples tested for the precursor to multiple myeloma, or MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance). If they test for MGUS, they are given the option to take part in a randomized clinical trial to treat or prevent the progression of MM. Dr. Kristinnson explains the four aims of this groundbreaking study in this video. 

Upcoming Consensus on Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Testing Confirms Black Swan Approach
The IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® moves a major step forward with the imminent publication of new myeloma response criteria using minimal residual disease (MRD) testing. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie explains the significance of this consensus by more than 200 top myeloma experts and why it confirms the Black Swan approach, and offers a snapshot of MRD testing for patients wondering if it’s ready for “prime time.”

Big Data Sharing Is Fundamental to Our Research Success
Vice President Joe Biden’s recent National Cancer Moonshot Summit concluded with the announcement of a “shared data initiative.” “The IMF’s International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) has been gathering and sharing data from all major myeloma institutions globally for more than a decade,” writes IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie in his blog this week. “And our Black Swan Research Initiative® is actively sharing data on our path to find the cure.”

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