MMRF Research Programs Drives New Breakthroughs in Multiple Myeloma Research

The MMRF at IMW 2019

24 abstracts to be presented at the International Myeloma Workshop include new hypotheses derived from CoMMpass Study data and information from the CureCloud registry pilot 

Norwalk, Conn., September 13, 2019 – Today, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced the presentation of twenty-four research abstracts at the 17th International Myeloma Workshop in Boston. Eighteen of the research abstracts use data from the MMRF CoMMpass StudySM—the largest genomic data set of any cancer and one of the most highly published studies in multiple myeloma. The other six abstracts include data from MMRC trials, the MMRF Answer Fund, and the MMRF Immunotherapy Initiative. Several of these are highlighted below.

MMRF CoMMpass Study

New data from the CoMMpass Study include the following:

  • Important new insights into the instability and heterogeneity of the multiple myeloma genome and implications for outcome and resistance.
  • Greater understanding of the biology of high-risk disease and early relapse.
  • Novel findings regarding use of genomic markers for prediction of risk and response to specific therapies, including Clonal Heterogeneity of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP).
  • Promising new targets for drug development, such as MAGEA3.

MMRF Answer Fund

Constantine Mitsiades, MD, PhD, and his colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will present an abstract made possible by the MMRF Answer Fund, an initiative focused on addressing critical questions about high-risk multiple myeloma. MMRF funding enabled Dr. Mitsiades to apply functional genomics to explore CoMMpass data. His work identified a subset of genes essential for myeloma cell survival, identifying potential new targets for future therapies.

MMRF CureCloud

MMRF Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Auclair, PhD is presenting the first poster on the CureCloud patient registry. This direct-to-patient registry allows patients to contribute their data to a centralized data hub that generates, aggregates and visualizes their data to accelerate the delivery of precision medicine and cures. The poster describes the results from the pilot program, which includes data captured from 65 multiple myeloma patients.

MMRF Work in Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD, the recently appointed MMRF Chief Medical Officer, and his colleagues at Mount Sinai in New York analyzed samples from the MMRC tissue bank to better understand predictors of progression from smoldering to active myeloma. Dr. Cho’s team confirmed that disease progression results from multiple pathways and complex interactions between tumor cells and the immune microenvironment. Understanding these interactions are critical to developing therapies that will delay and ultimately prevent disease progression.

“At the MMRF, our goal is to build collaborative models where clinicians, researchers and patients work together to accelerate the development of more effective, precision-based treatments, said Paul Giusti, President and CEO at the MMRF. “All of the work presented here at the International Myeloma Workshop reflects this focus and we’re proud to see the impact of our work with our world-class partners benefiting the patient community.”

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 eight years. The CoMMpass Study was made possible by a $40M investment by the MMRF.

The MMRF CoMMpass Study opened in July of 2011 and now includes 1,143 patients from 76 centers 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.

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About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 32,110 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2019 and an estimated 12,960 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

A pioneer in precision medicine, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) seeks to find a cure for all multiple myeloma patients by relentlessly pursuing innovations that accelerate the development of precision treatments for cancer. 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 has created the business model around cancer—from data to analytics to the clinic. The MMRF identifies barriers and then finds the solutions to overcome them, bringing in the best partners and aligning incentives in the industry to drive better outcomes for patients. Since its inception, the organization has collected thousands of samples and tissues, opened nearly 100 trials, helped bring 11 FDA-approved therapies to market, and built CoMMpass, the single largest genomic dataset for any cancer. Today, the MMRF is building on its legacy in genomics and is expanding into immune-oncology, as the combination of these two fields will be critical to making precision medicine possible for all patients. The MMRF has raised nearly $500 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts
Anne Quinn Young, MPH
Chief Marketing and Development Officer
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
[email protected]