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Pecora Highlights Major Areas of Investigation in Multiple Myeloma

Andrew L. Pecora, MD, FACP, CPE
Published Online:2:18 PM, Fri June 14, 2019

Andrew L. Pecora, MD, FACP, CPE, president of the Physician Services Division and chief innovation officer at Hackensack Meridian Health, discusses the biggest areas of research in the field of multiple myeloma. Pecora says that there has been a surprising number of advances in the field, with current research mostly focused on 1 of 3 areas.

The first major focus of research is in identifying the high-risk patients with multiple myeloma. For example, patients with del(13q) appear to be a uniquely high-risk group of patients; intervening early on with a more aggressive treatment approach might be appropriate for these patients. By identifying such patients, researchers can develop more aggressive treatment approaches for the increased risk. Pecora says that risk-adapted precision medicine is making its way into the treatment landscape.

The second area includes understanding the role of transplant and post-transplant maintenance for patients with multiple myeloma. Pecora asks, how do you establish minimal residual disease in the most efficacious way, and in which patients is autologous stem cell transplant necessary? The data are not clear yet but continue to be an area of active investigation.

Finally, Pecora says that the last challenge in the field of multiple myeloma is in patients with refractory disease. New data suggest that the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting myeloma stem cells could be effective in patients with resistant or refractory disease.
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