Clinical trials in myeloma for better treatments…better lives
March is International Myeloma Awareness Month. For five decades now, our cooperative group, the ALLG has been bringing together blood cancer experts from across Australia and New Zealand to volunteer their time and run clinical trials to change the way the disease is treated.
Professor Hang Quach [pictured] is a member of the ALLG’s Scientific Advisory Committee that sets the research strategy for the ALLG. She also chairs ALLG’s Myeloma Scientific Working Party (SWP), leads several ALLG myeloma trials, and is a member of the Myeloma Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) for Myeloma Australia.
Professor Quach explains:
“Treatment of patients with multiple myeloma has changed dramatically over the last 10 years in particular, with an unprecedented improvement in the survival of people with multiple myeloma (MM) due to increased therapeutic options.
“The regulatory approval in US and Europe, of new classes of drugs such as immune therapies, including anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and anti-BCMA agents, as well as small molecules including selective inhibitor of nuclear export (selinexor) have transformed the treatment landscape for people living with multiple myeloma. Over the last decade we have had five new drugs listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
“With the eventual shift of novel therapeutic agents to earlier lines of therapy, it is anticipated that the control of multiple myeloma will continue to improve. For the first time, the term, “operational cure” is being discussed, whereby people can live with multiple myeloma without relapse for more than 10 years.
“The ALLG continue to champion clinical research and access to novel therapeutic agents for people living with myeloma in Australia and New Zealand.”
Three ALLG Myeloma trials currently open to recruitment include: MM23 SeaLAND, MM22 FRAIL-M and MM24 IsAMYP.
Professor Quach is leading ALLG clinical trial MM23 SeaLAND that is evaluating a new medicine for patients called Selinexor in the maintenance treatment stage, after having have had a stem cell transplant. This is the only study globally assessing this new treatment option for adult patients who have been newly diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and who are eligible for an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant. This research aims to determine whether Selinexor can prolong survival, and what kinds of side effects may occur with this treatment.
Other ALLG Myeloma clinical trials include:
MM22 FRAIL-M, led by Professor Andrew Spencer aims to optimise first line therapy in older patients with multiple myeloma by maximising efficacy while minimising side-effects. The study aims to prospectively define appropriate doses for the trial’s treatment regimens according to patient fitness. This is an extremely important goal for this group of patients who are at high-risk of side-effects.
MM24 IsAMYP, led by Dr Simon Gibbs, is evaluating a new combination of medicines for patients with AL amyloidosis. This is an international Amyloidosis trial, in collaboration with the French Myeloma Group IFM. Dr Simon Gibbs will lead ALLG’s first collaboration with France in AL amyloidosis. This trial is evaluating three drug combinations, isatuximab with pomalidomide and dexamethasone, in patients with AL amyloidosis who have either relapsed or are not better after any previous treatments.
In other ALLG Myeloma news, Prof Hang Quach is working with A/Prof Matthew Ku and with an ALLG early career clinician researcher, Dr Georgia McCaughan, to establish a platform trial called MM26 NORM that will assess pomalidomide and selinexor in myeloma patients. This trial Phase I/II trial is for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have progressive disease after 1 prior line of therapy. The trial will aim to give more patients with myeloma greater access to new treatments. It has been developed over the course of 2022 and will open this year.
If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, speak with you doctor and visit ALLG’s Current Clinical Trials list and see Frequently Asked Questions about participating in a clinical trial.