The CoMMpass study, now the largest genomic dataset of any cancer, continues to fuel new discoveries in myleoma. This past week, a group of researchers led by Drs. Ben Barwick and Larry Boise from Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, published a study that identified the IgL translocation as a possible indicator of high-risk/poor prognosis disease in newly diagnosed myeloma patients.
Some 20% of myeloma patients relapse or pass away within 2 years of diagnosis. These patients are termed “high-risk”. High-risk myeloma can be difficult to predict at diagnosis; there are certain markers, such as t(4;14) translocation and 17p deletion, that are associated with poor disease outcomes, but having those particular markers does not guarantee a poor outcome. Having better, more predictive markers at diagnosis would enable the care team to provide a more personalized course of therapy for high-risk patients right from their first course of treatment.
Dr. Barwick and his team identified the IgL translocation as a marker of high-risk disease by analyzing data from over 800 patients in the CoMMpass study. It is present in about 10% of myeloma patients and corresponded with poor prognosis for those patients. In addition, these patients did not respond well to therapy with immune modulators (IMiDs) such as Revlimid. If these data are confirmed, testing newly diagnosed myeloma patients for this marker, along with other markers associated with high-risk disease, may improve the ability to predict which patients are at risk for poor outcomes right from the start, and may alter their course of therapy at diagnosis. Work is ongoing in our MMRF Answer Fund Initiative [link] to help confirm this finding and to better define the appropriate course of therapy for high-risk patients at diagnosis.
This important finding, which may benefit high-risk myeloma patients, is only made possible through the large amount of patient data collected in the CoMMpass study, which is made available to researchers worldwide to help accelerate new therapies for myeloma patients into the clinic. Find out more about the CoMMpass Study, the cornerstone of our precision medicine model.