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Dr Elisabet Manasanch: As Data Build on Effectiveness of MRD Testing, Adherence Will Increase

Although it is true that there are people who still don't use minimal residual disease (MRD) testing, I think that its use is going to pick up based on results of emerging clinical studies, said Elisabet Manasanch, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma and Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Although it is true that there are people who still don't use minimal residual disease (MRD) testing, I think that its use is going to pick up based on results of emerging clinical studies, said Elisabet Manasanch, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma and Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Transcript

How widely should MRD testing be occuring? It’s not happening everywhere, but should it be?

Well, as with all new things in medicine, it takes a little bit to break through. So, people have been talking about minimal residual disease in myeloma for 10 years, but we do have more and more data showing that it does correlate with our clinical outcomes. So, it's not been until very recently, probably the last couple of years, 2 to 3 years that we've had actually major studies that have used minimal residual disease testing in their outcomes showing that the patients that are negative do better than the ones that are positive, so this is very, very recent. Although it is true there are people who still don't use it, I think that the use is going to pick up just because every time we have more and more data.

There are presentations here about that, there’s a presentation of another meta-analysis that was published here a couple years ago–it's being updated with more follow-up and showing the same thing that it predicts how long once your negative. If you're negative, your interval free of myeloma will be longer than if you're positive, for example. Also, how long you survive with this disease will also be longer if you're negative than positive. This is just confirming these things. So, I think that some of the barriers are basically just making people aware, making patients aware, making physicians in the community aware that this is a test that is available. Especially commercially, if they do not have access to a test that they can do at, for example, an economic center.

 
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