Medical advances in the search for an operative cure for multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma, the most common type of plasma cell tumor, starts in the bone marrow and can spread throughout the body.

Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important component of the immune system. Photo: Shutterstock.

This is cancer From plasma cells, they are white blood cells that produce antibodies that protect us from infections. When a patient develops this condition, it happens because these cells multiply too much and displace the normal cells found in the bone marrow and produce red blood cells, platelets, and platelets. other white blood cells.

Multiple myeloma prevalence and diagnosis

Of this type cancer rarely, only in the United States, the risk of development multiple myeloma lifetime 1 in 132 (0.76% chance).

For 2022, calculations against the American Society Cancer for this one cancer In the US, it is expected to rise to 34,470 new cases multiple myeloma, of which 19,100 are men, 15,370 are women. About 12,640 people will die from this disease, including 7,090 men and 5,550 women.

Advances in Science Against Multiple Myeloma Treatment

Researchers from the Spanish myeloma group, GEM-PETHEMA, conducted a phase III clinical study called GEM12menos65, which they presented at the 19th meeting of the International Myeloma Society, where they are advancing towards an operative treatment. multiple myeloma.

In this study was performed in patients multiple myeloma Newly diagnosed patients treated with VRD chemotherapy before and after autotransplantation demonstrated a progression-free survival (PFS) of 80 months, the best PFS ever reported, surpassing the 67 months previously reported. the link.

This trial, which began in 2013 in newly diagnosed transplant-eligible patients (up to 65 years of age), included a total of 458 patients.

The trial was designed to compare the clinical efficacy of two myeloablative treatment regimens before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. 230 patients participated in the first group, and 228 in the second.

Global differences in toxicity profiles and progression-free survival

These were not found in patients treated with BUMEL or MEL200 MEL200, except in three groups of patients with high risk factors, in which BUMEL resulted in a significant improvement in PFS compared with those treated with MEL200.

The use of VRD-GEM, intensive treatment during the induction and conditioning phases of transplantation, and the effect of trial-related maintenance regimens were decisive in the results.

Considerable research is being done multiple myeloma in university hospitals, medical centers and other institutions around the world.

Every year, scientists learn more about the causes of the disease and ways to improve treatment. Many new drugs are currently being tested.

The researchers found that the supporting tissues of the bone marrow and bone cells produce growth factors that increase the growth of myeloma cells. In turn, myeloma cells produce substances that cause bone cells to undergo changes that weaken bones.

These findings are helping researchers develop new drugs to block these growth factors to slow them down cancer and reduce bone loss.

smoldering multiple myeloma

Although most patients multiple myeloma have a low risk of developing inoperable myeloma, there are some patients who have characteristics that put them at higher risk of active myeloma.

Recent research suggests that treating these patients sooner rather than waiting for symptoms can delay the development of active myeloma and may also improve survival.

Minimal residual disease

Minimal residual disease is the term used when a small number of myeloma cancer cells are still present in the bone marrow after treatment. Patients who have no cancer cells after treatment appear to have better survival rates than patients who still have even very small amounts of cancer cells.

New technologies are aimed at detecting one myeloma cell in 1 million normal cells. Studies are underway to determine whether getting rid of all myeloma cells (removal of minimal residual disease) should be the goal of therapy.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy

The immune system helps keep track of all the substances that are normally found in your body.

Any new substance that the immune system doesn’t recognize sets off an alarm, causing the system to attack it. therapy of T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (antigen therapy) T cells with CAR) is a promising new way to obtain immune cells called T cells (a type of white blood cell) to fight cancer changing them in the lab so they can detect and destroy cancer cells.

Recent studies have shown that therapy with T cells The BCMA protein shows great promise even in myeloma patients who have previously been treated with multiple drugs.