Nonprofit Launches Trial to Get Therapies to Multiple Myeloma Patients More Efficiently

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by Mary Chapman |

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MyDRUG platform trial

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is launching a platform clinical trial aimed at investigating treatments for high-risk multiple myeloma patients.

Building on the nonprofit’s landmark study that identified unique disease subtypes, it is the first platform trial exclusively for multiple myeloma patients.

Called MyDRUG, the trial is the capstone of the MMRF’s precision medicine model, the sole end-to-end model of its kind in cancer. The overarching goal is to better match patients with beneficial treatments.

Supported by several pharmaceutical companies, the trial is open to myeloma patients who have relapsed within 18 months without transplant, or 36 months if they’ve received a transplant, or have begun second-line treatment.

Unlike traditional clinical trials, platform trials allow swift testing of multiple agents in targeted patients. Treatments that don’t benefit patients can be quickly removed. There is no limit to the number of enrollees or the number of new therapies tested.

MMRF has long advocated for using genomic data to help patents and expedite cure research. Its establishment of a multicenter tissue bank led to the first sequencing of the whole myeloma genome, which led to the 2011 launch of the groundbreaking CoMMpass study.

CoMMpass, which was the biggest-ever genomic cancer data set, identified a dozen unique myeloma subtypes, each defined by specific genetic mutations and other abnormalities that affect how the disease responds to specific treatments.

MyDRUG will employ the precision medicine approach to test therapies crafted specifically for each myeloma subtype, hopefully improving the odds the treatment will work. The trial could also lead to more efficient matches of patients to treatments.

“MyDRUG is a major milestone for the MMRF in terms of putting precision medicine to work for patients through our unique end-to-end model, which aims to deliver the right treatment to every patient living with myeloma,” Paul Giusti, MMRF president and CEO, said in press release.

“This would not be possible without the groundwork of CoMMpass. Now, with the initiation of MyDRUG, we have the potential to accelerate the development of treatments for patients based on their specific genomic characteristics.”

In July, scientists from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers published a paper identifying prospective new high-risk markers for myeloma patients, a discovery facilitated by CoMMpass data.

Using data from the CoMMpass study, 32 research abstracts were presented earlier this month at the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego.

The Mayo Clinic’s Shaji Kumar, MD, who is MyDRUG’s chief investigator, said the MMRF has the leadership and partnerships necessary to lead such a complex undertaking.

“The MMRF MyDRUG study is an incredible milestone for the myeloma community, and I am proud to be part of this truly collaborative effort that will accelerate the delivery of much-needed options for high-risk patients,” he said.

Go here to see the full list of Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) sites at which MyDRUG will be offered. For more information, visit here or call the foundation at 866-603-6628. The MMRC integrates the work of 25 leading academic institutions to accelerate disease therapy development.