MMRF Precision Medicine Model Drives New Discoveries in Multiple Myeloma

More than 30 abstracts including new data from the MMRF CoMMpass Study to be presented at American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting

Norwalk, Conn., December 8, 2017  – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced new discoveries driven by its precision medicine model into the disease drivers, patient subpopulations, and potential therapies for multiple myeloma. Thirty-three research presentations presented at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Atlanta from December 9-12 are wholly or partly enabled by the MMRF’s end-to-end model. The new analyses include 24 presentations on the MMRF CoMMpass StudySM—the largest and most comprehensive study driving new genomic insights and accelerating precision medicine in multiple myeloma—as well as findings from ongoing translational and clinical research efforts.

The collection of presentations addresses many themes, including:

  • New targets and pathways that can be driven rapidly to the clinic
  • Novel predictors of drug sensitivity and outcomes that have the potential to enable more personalized treatment approaches
  • Differences in tumor biology from patients of different racial and ancestral backgrounds
  • Uncovering novel drivers of high risk myeloma, which remains an area of unmet need

“The MMRF’s unique end-to-end precision medicine model accelerates cancer research, from data collection and analysis, to the clinic, to the patient,” said Paul Giusti, President and CEO at the MMRF. “It’s exciting to see the impact of our model here at ASH, and the incredible strides we’re making toward ensuring every patient gets the right treatment at the right time.”

Several notable abstracts include integrative analyses that continue to expand the understanding of the genomic landscape of the disease, which will help better match patients to treatment based on their specific genomic profile (abstracts #60, #61). In particular, Dr. Jonathan Keats of the Translational Genomics Research Institute will present an advanced CoMMpass dataset (abstract #326) identifying new genes implicated in multiple myeloma.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in multiple myeloma over the years, but many challenges remain,” said Dr. Keats. “CoMMpass is a treasure trove of genomic data that is truly unpreceded in cancer research. It takes us closer to realizing the promise of precision medicine in myeloma, where we can treat each patient based on their individual genomic profile.”

Also being presented at ASH is the first analysis of a complementary study to CoMMpass, the MMRF Molecular Profiling Protocol, which builds on the MMRF Data Bank and provides actionable information on how patients can best treat their specific type of myeloma (abstract #395). Dr. Daniel Auclair, Senior Vice President of Research at the MMRF, is the lead author and will be presenting this oral abstract.

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 is collecting and analyzing tissue samples, clinical data and genetic information from 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients for at least nine years.

The study is designed to show which 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 1,150 patients from more than 90 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.

Please visit to learn more about the study.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 30,330 adults (17,900 men and 12,430 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2016 and an estimated 12,650 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 47%, versus 31% in 1999.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 30,000 adults will be diagnosed this year and 12,500 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The mission of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is to find a cure for multiple myeloma by relentlessly pursuing innovation that accelerates the development of next-generation treatments to extend the lives of patients. Founded in 1998 by Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, and her twin sister Karen Andrews as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the MMRF is a world-recognized leader in cancer research. Together with its partners, the MMRF has created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine and the single largest genomic dataset in all cancers.  The MMRF continues to disrupt the industry today, as a pioneer and leader at the helm of new research efforts.  Since its inception, the organization has raised over $330 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact
Anne Quinn Young
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation


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