by Jim Omel
Grand Island, NE
@IMFjimMYELOMA

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting is by far the most exciting meeting of the year for those of us with myeloma. Clinical trials are updated, new drugs are discussed, and promising treatment combinations are presented.

At this year’s 56th ASH Annual Meeting, I hope to learn more about targeted pathway therapy, killing myeloma with FDA-approved drugs already proven effective in other cancers. Myeloma is a genomic disease and genetic alterations make myeloma cells particularly susceptible to targeted agents, if we can just discover and exploit their metabolic pathway alterations.

I also plan to share the ASH posters and presentations on MRD (minimal residual disease). Flow cytometry detects as little as one myeloma cell in one million normal blood cells. This deep response represents a tremendous advancement in treating myeloma and will likely serve as an endpoint for new myeloma clinical trials. Just being able to even consider MRD shows how far we have improved myeloma therapy and how tantalizingly close the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative is to approaching what we all long for– a cure.

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