Telo, Mayo Clinic Working on Tests to ID Patients at Risk of Relapse
Research is part of TeloView platform for improving prognostic tools
Telo Genomics has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic to develop tests to help clinicians identify multiple myeloma (MM) patients at high risk of experiencing a relapse after treatment.
The new research into such drug resistance assessment measures follows the ongoing development of a previous test to detect smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) — an intermediate form of this rare blood cancer that’s between nonactive and active myeloma.
This is the second Telo study done in collaboration with Mayo.
The tests, when developed, will become part of the TeloView platform — Telo’s tools for better managing myelomas.
“We are excited to launch this drug resistance study for multiple myeloma patients in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic,” Sherif Louis, Telo’s CEO said in a press release.
“The development of this test, in addition to Telo’s lead product for SMM, has the potential to position our TeloView platform as a powerful prognostic tool to address multiple unmet clinical needs for the management of multiple myeloma,” Louis said.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. Plasma cells are typically found in the bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside some bones where blood cells are produced. In a person with multiple myeloma, these plasma cells grow uncontrollably and make large amounts of an abnormal antibody, called M-protein.
Doctors diagnose multiple myeloma by identifying excess M-protein in the blood and urine and elevated plasma cells in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma patients also may have higher-than-normal blood calcium levels, impaired kidney function, or anemia. A bone marrow biopsy confirms the diagnosis.
While there is yet no cure for multiple myeloma, many therapies are available to control it. Treatment is effective initially, and results in most patients achieving remission.
However, some patients stop responding to treatment as early as three months after remission and relapse. There are no tests now available to identify patients at risk of relapsing. Researchers say developing such tests could improve treatment plans and the quality of care for these patients.
Telo Genomics’ TeloView system is a noninvasive test that analyses the telomeres — the protective ends at the end of chromosomes — on individual cells. After analyzing the telomeres of multiple cells, TeloView generates a report advising clinicians of the disease’s stage, its progression rate, and how it likely will respond to therapy.
In a proof-of-concept and validation study, TeloView successfully identified participants with SMM who remained stable and others who progressed to active multiple myeloma. TeloView is now undergoing further testing to determine if it can correctly predict whether patients with SMM will transition to active multiple myeloma, and which MM patients will relapse after treatment.