Total Treatment Approaches to Curing Myeloma

The Myeloma Center was the first center to achieve curative outcomes through its novel Total Therapy treatment approach. Total Therapy incorporates proven agents up front for an “all-out attack” on myeloma in order to destroy the myeloma cells at the outset and not give them an opportunity to survive. Total Therapy has evolved to include variations that target specific molecular subtypes of myeloma.

With ever-expanding knowledge, improved diagnostics and new therapeutic agents, we are taking Total Therapy to the next level and improving cure by

  • Harnessing the immune system to overcome resistance to treatment
  • Targeting treatment to the molecular lesions that cause myeloma by altering signaling pathways that regulate the growth of cancer cells
  • Reducing treatment toxicity through the use of new agents and mechanisms that can replace high-dose chemotherapy
  • Modifying regimens for elderly and/or frail patients

We are also using a number of innovative approaches to develop targeted therapies to complement Total Therapy:

  • Using antibodies for previously untreated patients before they undergo chemotherapy. This will enable us to identify markers of the best responders and then target treatment to specific patient groups.
  • Utilizing cellular therapy through the use of expanded natural killer cells
  • Utilizing virotherapy to infect and destroy myeloma cells while sparing normal cells
  • Developing novel imaging studies that can provide information about response to treatment in a quick time frame so that treatment can be adjusted quickly.
  • Creating innovative studies for high-risk myeloma that will enable us to quickly assess how immunotherapy and targeted therapy impact responses so we can quickly integrate effective interventions into Total Therapy. The 15% of myeloma patients with high-risk disease have not fared as well as the 85% with low-risk disease. We are committed to examining why high-risk patients have failed to respond, understanding the biology of high-risk disease and designing treatments accordingly.

Additionally, we are creating umbrella studies for high-risk myeloma to investigate how immunotherapy and targeted therapy impact responses and indictors of cure. (Umbrella studies are employed to improve the efficiency of clinical trials; they are designed to test the impact of different drugs on different mutations in a single type of cancer.) The study design will enable us to get answers quickly so that effective interventions can be readily integrated into the Total Therapy program.

We are enhancing Total Therapy by developing personalized, precision medicine approaches for the most effective, patient-specific regimens.