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Study Supports Minimal Residual Disease As End Point in Myeloma

MRD-negative status linked to favorable progression-free, overall survival in multiple myeloma

blood specimen

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative status is associated with improved survival, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 15 in JAMA Oncology.

Nikhil C. Munshi, M.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues reviewed the literature to examine the utility of MRD detection in patients with newly diagnosed MM. Twenty-one studies met eligibility criteria and were included in the analysis: 14 studies with 1,273 participants provided data on the impact of MRD on progression-free survival (PFS), and 12 studies with 1,100 participants provided data on overall survival (OS).

The researchers found that results were reported specifically in patients who had achieved conventional complete response (CR) in five and six studies for PFS and OS (574 and 616 patients, respectively). MRD-negative status correlated with significantly better PFS overall and in patients with CR (hazard ratios, 0.41 and 0.44; both P < 0.001). MRD-negative patients also had favorable OS overall and in CR patients (hazard ratios, 0.57 and 0.47; both P < 0.001). No significant differences were found among the studies for PFS and OS in tests of heterogeneity.

"MRD-negative status after treatment for newly diagnosed MM is associated with long-term survival," the authors write. "These findings provide quantitative evidence to support the integration of MRD assessment as an end point in clinical trials of MM."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Celgene, which partly funded the study.

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