Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Announces Enrollment Completion of MMRF CoMMpass Study SM

Landmark Study to Map the Clinical-Genomic Profiles of 1,000 Patients with Multiple Myeloma, Advancing Precision Medicine in Cancer and Pathway to Cures

Norwalk, Conn., September 15, 2015 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that the MMRF CoMMpass StudySM, the most comprehensive long-term genomic study ever conducted in myeloma, has reached full enrollment with 1,000 patients now participating. The global study is mapping the genomic profile of each enrolled patient with multiple myeloma in order to advance the understanding of disease progression, including patient response to therapies, and offer insights for the development of personalized treatments that target the underlying disease biology to lead to cures.

“The promise of precision medicine and our ability to find a cure for multiple myeloma are reliant on big data and patient engagement. When it comes to a rare disease like multiple myeloma, achieving those numbers requires a significant degree of participation from the patient population, making the MMRF CoMMpass Study enrollment a tremendous milestone for the future of research in this area,” said MMRF CoMMpass Study Principal Investigator Sagar Lonial, M.D., FACP, Professor and Executive Vice Chair in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Chief Medical Officer Winship Cancer Institute Emory University. “In fact, the MMRF CoMMpass Study will provide one of the most comprehensive clinical-genomic maps of any cancer. Beyond identifying novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets, the results will help physicians make more informed and customized treatment decisions for their patients through data that show which individual and combined therapies work based on a specific profile, and will also help us identify mutations. This deep understanding ultimately leads to better, more precise care, as well as the promise of a cure.”

In the study, each participating patient provides bone marrow samples when diagnosed and when they experience a change in their condition over the course of their disease progression. DNA sequencing then allows researchers to track how multiple myeloma progresses for each individual patient for at least eight years, specifically analyzing how the disease is evolving, reacting to treatment and changing over time. This data enables researchers to better understand the basis of the disease and in turn make multiple myeloma treatments more tailored for each patient. Outputs from the study are accessible publically through the MMRF Researcher Gateway to help advance investigations and ultimately clinical developments. Related data will also be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

“This critical milestone for the MMRF CoMMpass Study reflects our continued mission to advance precision medicine and accelerate breakthroughs for patients with myeloma and all cancers,” said Walter M. Capone, Chief Executive Officer and President of the MMRF. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each patient in this study as their continued participation will help decode this devastating disease and usher in a new era of more precise and individualized treatments for multiple myeloma and other cancers, leading to cures. Additionally, the MMRF CoMMpass Study would not have been possible without the collective vision and support of researchers from the more than 100 collaborating centers and our pharmaceutical company and research institution partners who are making this eight year initiative a reality.”

The study is part of the MMRF end-to-end system in precision medicine, which aims to accelerate cures and save lives. The MMRF precision medicine model accelerates research and discovery by gathering, decoding and tracking data over time, pushing our valuable data to the public domain, creating incentives for academia and industry to share their learnings and expedite clinical trials for promising new therapies. Please visit to learn more about the study.

About the MMRF CoMMpass StudySM 
The MMRF CoMMpass Study is a longitudinal study of patients with newly-diagnosed active multiple myeloma. The goal is to map the genomic profile of each patient to clinical outcomes to develop a more complete understanding of patient responses to treatments. A cornerstone of the MMRF’s Personalized Medicine Initiative, the study will collect and analyze tissue samples, clinical data and genetic information from 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients for at least eight years.

The study is designed to show what treatments are used most often as first and subsequent lines of therapy, and to correlate this information with critical therapeutic response criteria including best responses achieved, overall survival, time to disease progression and quality of life measures. Each patient enrolled in the study is required to receive an approved proteasome inhibitor, immunomodulatory drug or both.

The MMRF CoMMpass Study opened in July of 2011 and now includes 1,000 patients from more than 100 sites in the United States, Canada and European Union. Data from the MMRF CoMMpass Study is made available to researchers via the MMRF’s Researcher Gateway (, an online, open-access portal designed to make key genomic and clinical data available for additional study. The MMRF CoMMpass Study is being supported through a public-private partnership of patient donors and industry partners, including Takeda Oncology, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Janssen Diagnostics. Additional collaborating research partners include the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Van Andel Research Institute and GNS Healthcare.
About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 26,850 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2015 and an estimated 11,240 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 47%, versus 31% in 1999.1

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of its total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.

Media Contacts
Sharon Saias
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Alice Sofield
Ruder Finn, Inc.


  1. National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Myeloma. Available at Accessed September 2015.

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