Robert Rifkin, MD, FACP, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, outlines the importance of studying treatment resistant patients with multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma has become almost a chronic disease, what with extended prolonged survivals, said Robert Rifkin, MD, FACP, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.
Can you elaborate on the challenge of treatment resistance among patients with multiple myeloma?
Well, I think what we've done over time is, myeloma has become almost a chronic disease, because I just told you about the extended and prolonged survivals. As a result, I think we've created probably some new mechanisms of resistance after you're exposed to all of these things. If we can use that as data to look at for the next lines of therapies and understand mechanisms of resistance, we'll continue to do better.
The other thing that's really starting to come on in multiple myeloma is, we're now able to do testing for minimal residual disease [MRD]. As we come up with more and more effective therapies, hopefully we can make people MRD negative at multiple time points and maybe, just the pie in the sky is, if you're MRD negative for a couple years, maybe you don't need any more myeloma treatment. Because as all of you know, myeloma is really a continuous therapy disease.
Hopefully using these triple-class refractory patients as a scientific foundation, we can come up with better therapies that make you MRD negative. In addition, that allows us to model health care resource utilization, quality-of-life metrics, and a variety of other things, which are very important in the real-world setting. So the Connect MM registry really provides us with a tremendous foundation to look at these newly emerging triple-class refractory patients.