MMRF Virtual ASCO 2022 Meeting Blogs - themmrf.org

MMRF Virtual ASCO 2022 Meeting Blogs

MMRF Virtual ASCO 2022 Meeting Blogs

By MMRF on  June 7, 2022

Another American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting is upon us! This year brings us several updates in multiple myeloma relating to:

Let us break down for you the key findings for each one of these topics from Saturday.

MMRF ASCO 2022 Meeting Blogs—SATURDAY, June 4
CD38 Monoclonal Antibody Combinations in Myeloma

In the primary analysis of the phase 2 randomized GRIFFIN study, Darzalex in combination with Velcade, Revlimid, and dexamethasone (D-RVd) improved the stringent complete response (sCR) rate by end of consolidation for transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM).  With longer follow-up, D-RVd compared to RVd improved minimal residual disease (MRD)-negativity rates in clinically relevant patient subgroups:

  • ISS stage III
  • High-risk cytogenetics (del17p, t[4;14], t[14;16], t[14;20], or gain 1q)

In this presentation, Dr. Cesar Rodriguez and colleagues presented findings from a post hoc analysis of sustained MRD negativity in the same subgroups and in patients with either a CR or a sCR (ABSTRACT 8011).  The study showed:

  • Sustained MRD-negativity rates lasting more than 6 and more than 12 months were higher for D-RVd compared to RVd among all high-risk subgroups
  • D-RVd was superior to RVd for rates of sustained MRD negativity lasting greater than 12 months for patients with greater than or equal to a CR (53.7% vs 20.3%) and sCR (59.1% vs 17.4%)

The investigators conclude that the addition of Darzalex to RVd induction and consolidation and Revlimid maintenance may lead to durable MRD-negativity rates in patients with transplant-eligible NDMM with high-risk cytogenetics, ISS stage III, and those who achieve either a CR or sCR. The findings support the role of D-RVd as the new standard of care for this patient population.  Patients should consult with their doctor for additional guidance or more information about this treatment regimen as it relates to their specific situation and care.

Dr. Andrew Yee and researchers evaluated a different quadruplet treatment regimen consisting of Darzalex, Kyprolis, Pomalyst, and dexamethasone (D-KPd) in patients with relapsed disease (ABSTRACT 8012). Preliminary results of a phase 2 study of D-KPd with a twice per week schedule of K showed an overall response rate of 86% in patients with a median of 1 prior line (including both Revlimid and a proteasome inhibitor) was reported at the American Society of Hematology meeting in 2020.  Yee and colleagues reported an update of an ongoing study of Darzalex with weekly KPd (D-wKPd) to improve the accessibility of this regimen by requiring only one visit to the clinic for treatment per week. The investigators showed that D-wKPd shows some of the highest response rates (95%) reported to date in relapsed/refractory MM and conclude that this likely reflects the incorporation of 4 active drugs in 1 treatment regimen and builds on the efficacy of Darzalex-based triplet regimens.

Bispecific Antibodies

Teclistamab

Teclistamab is a bispecific antibody that can bind to the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) found on myeloma cells and a cell surface protein found on T cells called CD3. Initial data from a phase 1/2 study of teclistamab as a single agent in patients with RRMM who previously received 3 or more prior lines of therapy demonstrated an overall response rate of 62.0% in patients with no prior anti-BCMA treatment.  This result was significant since only 37% patients were able to achieve a response using conventional therapies such as Darzalex as a single agent. In today’s presentation, Dr. Cyrille Touzeau and colleagues report initial results from a subset of patients who had prior exposure to an anti-BCMA treatment (such as Blenrep [an antibody-drug conjugate] or Abecma or Carvykti [CAR T-cell therapy]) (ABSTRACT 8013).  Of the forty patients evaluated for effectiveness, the results showed:

  • 52.5% of patients responded
  • 27.5% achieved a complete response or better
  • 55.2% of patients responded who had received prior Blenrep and 53.3% of patients responded who had received Abecma or Carvykti

The investigators conclude their initial results of serial targeting of BCMA with teclistamab following Blenrep or CAR-T treatment suggest a promising overall response rate with responses occurring early and deepening over time.  The results support teclistamab as a promising new, off-the-shelf, BCMA-targeting therapy for patients with RRMM who have received 3 or more prior lines of therapy.

In a separate presentation, Dr. Niels W.C.J. van de Donk and colleagues compared teclistamab with treatment used in real-world clinical practice (RWCP) in patients with RRMM who received three or more lines of therapy (ABSTRACT 8016). The researchers found that patients treated with teclistamab had improved outcomes (overall response rate, duration of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival) compared with patients who received the standard of care in RWCP. Researchers conclude that teclistamab showed significantly improved efficacy over RWCP for almost all outcomes, highlighting its potential as a highly effective treatment option for patients with RRMM who have been exposed to three or more lines of therapy.

Elranatamab

Updated results were presented on the MagnetisMM-1 trial, a phase 1 trial investigating the safety and efficacy of the BCMA-targeted bispecific antibody elranatamab as a single agent (ABSTRACT 8014). Dr. Andrzej Jakubowiak and colleagues reported:

  • 87.3% of patients experienced grade 1 or 2 cytokine release syndrome, which is a flu–like syndrome in which a patient experiences fevers, chills, and low blood pressure after the infusion of CAR T-cells
      • No events grade 3 or higher by administering pre-medication (dexamethasone, diphenhydramine, and acetaminophen) and using 1-step priming (patients received a single dose of 600 µg/kg followed 1 week later by a full dose of 1,000 µg/kg elranatamab weekly or every 2 weeks)
  • 64% of patients responded among those who received elranatamab at a dose greater than or equal to 215µg/kg
  • 35% of patients achieved a CR or better
  • 54% of patients (7 out of 13) who received prior BCMA-directed therapy responded to elranatamab treatment (2 sCR, 1CR, 3 VGPR, and 1 PR)
  • 100% (13 of 13) of patients who achieved CR and sCR also achieved MRD negativity

Researchers concluded that single agent elranatamab induces durable clinical and molecular responses, which are consistent with clinical findings from other investigational BCMA-targeted bispecific antibodies and support the continued development of elranatamab.

Talquetamab

Talquetamab is another bispecific antibody that binds to a different surface marker on myeloma cells than BCMA—for this antibody, GPRC5D is the target on the myeloma cell. Dr. Monique C. Minnema and researchers presented updated results with additional patients and longer follow-up from MonumenTAL-1, a phase 1 trial of talquetamab in patients with RRMM (ABSTRACT 8015). 

Eligible patients had RRMM or were intolerant to standard therapies. Patients had received at least 3 or more lines of prior therapy or were double refractory to a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory drug. Prior treatment with a CD38 monoclonal antibody was allowed, except there was a 90-day washout; prior BCMA-directed therapies were permitted. Thirty patients received talquetamab 405 μg/kg weekly, with 10.0 and 60.0 μg/kg step-up doses during the first week of therapy, and forty-four patients received talquetamab 800 μg/kg once every two weeks.

  • For patients treated with talquetamab 405 μg/kg weekly
      • Low blood counts occurred in 67% of patients (with grade 3 or 4 in 53%) and were reversible, mostly confined to early cycles of therapy and generally resolved within 1 week
      • Infections occurred in 47% (with grade 3 or 4 in 7%) of patients
      • CRS was observed in 77% (grade 3: 3%) and mostly occurred during the first week of therapy when patients received 10.0 and 60.0 μg/kg step-up doses
      • Skin-related and nail disorder side effects occurred in 83% of patients (most commonly peeling skin `: 37% [all grade 1 and 2])
      • 63% of patients experienced a taste disorder was generally mild and managed with dose adjustments
      • 70% of patients responded to treatment; very good partial response or better rate was found in 57% patients
  • For patients treated with talquetamab 800 μg/kg once every two weeks
      • Low blood counts occurred in 36% of patients (with grade 3 or 4 in 23%)
      • Infections occurred in 34% (grade 3 or 4: 9%) of patients
      • CRS was observed in 80% of patients (all grade 1 or 2) and mostly occurred during the first week of therapy when patients received 10.0 and 60.0 μg/kg step-up doses
      • Skin-related and nail disorder side effects occurred in 75% of patients (most commonly peeling skin: 39% [all grade 1 and 2])
      • 57% had a taste disorder that was generally mild and managed with dose adjustments
      • 64% of patients responded; very good partial response or better rate: 57%

Researchers conclude that talquetamab shows highly promising efficacy in a heavily pretreated RRMM patient population, including those who received at least 3 or more lines of prior therapy or were refractory to a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory drug.

Antibody Drug Conjugate Combinations

Blenrep + Revlimid

Blenrep is a BCMA-targeting antibody–drug conjugate approved for patients with RRMM as monotherapy at 2.5 mg/kg once every three weeks. Preclinical data demonstrate synergy between Blenrep and Revlimid, suggesting added benefit when combined with standard of care such as Revlimid and dexamethasone. In this presentation Dr. Hang Quach reports interim analysis of 45 patients who received 1 or more doses of Blenrep combined with Revlimid and dexamethasone at various doses and schedules (ABSTRACT 8017). Seventy-five percent of patients responded to the combination. Dr. Quach and researchers concluded that Blenrep combined with Revlimid and dexamethasone had a tolerable safety profile, with no new safety signals identified in patients with RRMM. Side effects, including eye surface disorder called keratopathy, were common but manageable with dose modifications.

Blenrep + Keytruda

The next presentation by Dr. Attaya Suvannasankha reported on the safety and clinical activity of Blenrep with Keytruda (a checkpoint inhibitor approved for many different types of solid tumors, but not approved for or commonly used in patients with MM) in RRMM (ABSTRACT 8018). In this analysis of 34 patients, the median prior lines of therapy was 5; 10 pts (29%) had high-risk cytogenetics (t[4;14], t[14;16], 17p13del, or 1q21+) and 9 (26%) had extramedullary disease (that is, myeloma outside of the bone marrow). Results of this study are shown in the table below:

Response, n (%)Blenrep 2.5 mg/kg + Keytruda 200 mg every 3 weeks
Part 2 (N=28)
Blenrep 2.5 mg/kg + Keytruda 200 mg every 3 weeks
Parts 1 and 2 (N=34)
ORR, n (%)12 (43)16 (47)
≥VGPR, n (%)7 (25)10 (29)
sCR00
CR2 (7)4 (12)
VGPR5 (18)6 (18)
PR5 (18)6 (18)
SD6 (21)8 (24)
PD8 (29)8 (24)
NE2 (7)2 (6)

Most patients had one or more side effect (any grade: 97%; Grade 3 or 4: 74%) and treatment-related side effects (any grade: 97%; grade 3 or more: 65%). Most common (35% or more) side effects were:

  • Eye surface disorder (any grade: 71%; grade 3 or more: 38%)
  • Vision blurred (any grade: 38%; grade 1 or 2 only)
  • Low platelet counts (any grade: 35%; grade 3 or more: 29%).

Side effects led to dose delays in 65% of patents and dose reductions in 32% of patients; however, side effects did not lead to discontinuation of treatment. Nine patients had a serious adverse event; 4 patients had one or more serious side effect related to study treatment. Two patients had immune-related adverse events of grade 1 (gout and autoimmune hypothyroidism).

Blenrep + Nirogacestat

Preclinical data demonstrate that nirogacestat, an investigational gamma-secretase inhibitor, may increase cell-surface levels of BCMA and reduce soluble BCMA levels, which could enhance anti-BCMA agent activity in multiple myeloma. In the DREAMM-5 Phase 1/2 platform trial Blenrep was evaluated in combination with nirogacestat to determine if the combination can result in similar efficacy and an improved ocular safety profile compared to the currently approved Blenrep schedule (single agent dose 2.5 mg/kg once every 3 weeks) in patients with RRMM (ABSTRACT 8019). Single-agent Blenrep results in a 31% overall response rate and 44.5%  grade 3/4 eye surface disorder. Dr. Sagar Lonial and colleagues found encouraging clinical activity (38% of patients responded) and a manageable safety profile (12.5% of patients experiencing grade 3 or higher eye side effects) with low-dose Blenrep (0.95 mg/kg once every 3 weeks) combined with nirogacestat (100 mg twice a day continuously) in patients with RRMM. This ongoing sub-study is actively recruiting patients and will continue to evaluate Blenrep combined with nirogacestat efficacy and safety.

CAR T-Cell Therapy

Carvykti is approved for the treatment of adult patients with RRMM following 4 or more prior lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. The approval for Carvykti was based on findings from the phase 1b/2 CARTITUDE-1 trial, in which Carvykti elicited an objective response rate of 98% and a sCR rate of 78% in this patient population. At ASCO, Dr. Hermann Einsele and colleagues evaluated the Carvykti safety and efficacy in patents with MM who received 1–3 prior lines of therapy and were refractory to Revlimid– a particularly difficult-to-treat population with a poor prognosis (ABSTRACT 8020). The study found that a single Carvykti infusion led to deepening and durable responses in patients with RMMM who had 1–3 prior lines of therapy and were refractory to Revlimid. Follow-up is ongoing.

MMRF ASCO 2022 Meeting Blogs—SUNDAY, June 5

Treatment of Newly Diagnosed and Relapsed/Refractory Disease

Ninlaro plus Darzalex

Frail patients with multiple myeloma (MM) often have worse outcomes as compared to other patients, especially in the relapsed setting as they are more likely to stop treatment due to side effects. Dr. Xavier Leleu and colleagues presented their results from a phase 2 study that evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of Ninlaro plus Darzalex without dexamethasone in 55 elderly frail patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) (ABSTRACT 8000).  Patient had a median age of 82 years, with 76% of patients having a frailty score of 2 or more. Researchers used a frailty score that combines age, functional status, and comorbidities that can predict survival and side effects. A higher score is associated with poor outcomes. Most patients (65%) had 1 prior line of therapy. Forty-seven patients were evaluated for high-risk cytogenetics, with 19% having 17p deletion, 17% having t(4;14), and 1 with both. Additionally, 36% of patients were refractory to Revlimid.

The study found that Ninlaro plus Darzalex (without dexamethasone!) showed a positive efficacy profile in frail, older patients with RRMM:

  • 76% of patients responded to treatment
  • 34% of patients had a very good partial response (VGPR) or better

In Revlimid refractory patients:

  • 71% of patients responded to treatment
  • 41% of patients had a VGPR or better

In those with high-risk cytogenetics:

  • 87% of patients responded to treatment
  • 60% of patients had a VGPR or better

Grade 3 or higher side effects included low platelet levels (16%), infection (14%), high blood pressure (5%), diarrhea (4%), Darzalex infusion-related reaction (4%), and nausea or vomiting (2%). The investigators conclude that Ninlaro plus Darzalex is a potential combination for an elderly frail population include patients who are refractory to Revlimid and those with high-risk cytogenetics.

Kyprolis, Revlimid, and Dexamethasone

Maintenance treatment following ASCT for MM remains an area of active investigation and discussion. An earlier study showed that extended post-ASCT maintenance treatment with Kyprolis, Revlimid, and dexamethasone (KRd) after KRd as first-line therapy improved the depth and duration of response. In this open-label phase 3 study, Dr. Dominik Dytfeld and colleagues compared that strategy to standard Revlimid maintenance (ABSTRACT 8001).  Patients with newly diagnosed MM (NDMM) who are transplant eligible and under the age of 66 years who had received induction and an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) were randomized to either KRd or Revlimid maintenance. About 20% of patients in each group had high-risk features, defined as either t(4;14), t(14;16), or deletion 17p. Patients in the KRd group received treatment for 6 cycles and those who achieved minimal residual disease (MRD)-negativity at that point went on to receive only Revlimid maintenance and those who did not continued with KRd for a total of 36 cycles. Results showed:

  • Progression-free survival (PFS) was 59 months for KRd compared to 41 months for Revlimid
  • 44% pts in the KRd arm and 27% in the Revlimid arm achieved MRD-negativity measured by next-generation sequencing (<10−5 sensitivity)
  • All-grade side effects were generally comparable between arms

 
This is the first randomized phase 3 trial demonstrating superior PFS with extended post-transplant KRd therapy compared to Revlimid maintenance. The authors conclude that an MRD-directed, risk-adapted maintenance therapy strategy for extended KRd treatment following ASCT may represent a new standard of care for patients.

Darzalex, Kyprolis, Revlimid, and Dexamethasone

According to findings from the phase 2 IFM 2018-04 trial (ABSTRACT 8002), induction therapy with the quadruplet regimen of D-KRd appears to be feasible in newly diagnosed patients with high-risk cytogenetics (defined as either t[4;14], t[14;16], or deletion 17p), who are eligible for transplant. Dr. Cyrille Touzeau and colleagues reported:

  • 96% of patients responded to D-KRd, with 31% of patients having either a complete response (CR) or stringent CR

62% of patients achieved MRD negativity (defined as 10-5 by next generation sequencing).
Results showed the regimen was well tolerated. Common treatment-related side effects were gastrointestinal disorder (46%), infection (40%), and skin rash (16%), and blood clot in a vein (14%). The researchers concluded that data from the phase 2 IFM 2018-04 trial support the use of quadruplet induction regimen D-KRd in high-risk, transplant-eligible patients

Investigational CAR T-Cell Therapies

CART-ddBCMA

A phase 1 trial investigated the CAR T-cell therapy called CART-ddBCMA (ABSTRACT 8003) which a patient’s T cells are specifically engineered to improve the stability of the molecule that binds to BCMA on myeloma cells. Twenty-five patients with RRMM who had received 3 or more prior lines of therapy or were triple refractory received CART-ddBCMA. Dr. Matthew Frigault and colleagues presented their results, which show CART-ddBCMA treatment led to deep and durable responses in patients with poor prognostic factors. The results showed:

  • 100% of patients achieved a response
  • 71% patients achieved CR or sCR
  • CART-ddBCMA dosed at 100 million CART cells continues to be well-tolerated
  • Toxicities including cytokine release syndrome, neurotoxicity (such as headache, confusion, cognitive disorder) have been manageable, and all resolved with standard management at both dose levels

FasT CAR-T GC012F

Dr. Juan Du and researchers presented their findings from a first-in-human study on GC012F, a CAR T-cell therapy that targets two different proteins on myeloma cells: BCMA and CD19 (ABSTRACT 8005). A unique feature to this CAR T-cell therapy is that it uses a simplified manufacturing process that takes as little as 24 hours, instead of one or two weeks, for approved CAR T-cell constructs.  Researchers initially presented data at ASCO 2021 for the initial 19 patients, and now Dr. Juan Du and investigators reported findings with longer follow up and additional 9 patients treated in 3 different dose levels: 1 × 105/kg, 2 × 105/kg, and 3 × 105/kg. Results showed:

  • All patients achieved MRD negativity by flow cytometry (sensitivity 10-4-10-6); 82% of patients experienced mild cytokine release syndrome

Researchers concluded that GC012F continues to provide deep and durable responses with a favorable safety profile in additional RRMM patients across all dose levels demonstrating a very high MRD negativity rate including in patients refractory to anti-CD38 inhibitors like Darzalex and Sarclisa, proteasome inhibitors, and immunomodulatory drugs.

We look forward to more updates on these new CAR T-cell constructs with information on how long responses may last!

Bispecific Antibodies (Part 2)

Elranatamab

Dr. Alexander Lesokhin and colleagues reported initial safety results from the MagnetisMM-3 trial, a phase 2 trial investigating the safety and efficacy of the BCMA-targeted bispecific antibody elranatamab (ABSTRACT 8006). The patients included in this study were divided into two groups based on whether they had received prior BCMA-directed treatment or not. Patients received subcutaneous elranatamab 76 mg every week on a 28-day cycle with 2-step-up doses of 12 mg and 32 mg subcutaneous on days 1 and 4, respectively, in the first week.

Participants of this study represent a particularly difficult-to-treat MM patient population, as 96% of patients had triple-class refractory disease (at least 1 proteasome inhibitor, 1 immunomodulatory drug, and 1 anti-CD38 antibody). In this interim analysis, safety and efficacy data were available only from the 94 patients who were in the group that had not received prior BCMA-directed treatment were given at least one dose of elranatamab.

Results showed the most common treatment related side effects were cytokine release syndrome (61%) and low red blood cell counts (44%).  Initial efficacy results showed that 60.6% of patients had a response to elranatamab. The trial is still ongoing to the primary endpoint analysis with results expected later this year.

Teclistamab

Dr. Ajay Nooka and researchers presented updated efficacy and safety results from the teclistamab (another BCMA-targeted bispecific antibody) phase 1/2 MajesTEC-1 study (ABSTRACT 8007). Among the 165 patients who received teclistamab, 78% of the patients were triple-class refractory, and 30% were penta-drug refractory. Results showed:

  • 63% of patients responded to treatment, with a complete response or better achieved in 39%
  • PFS was 11 months with teclistamab treatment
  • 72% of patients experienced cytokine release syndrome
  • Common side effects included low white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet counts

Researchers conclude that updated data from the phase 1/2 MajesTEC-1 study reaffirm the deep and durable responses that have been observed with teclistamab in patients with highly refractory MM, with no new safety signals.

Of all bispecific antibodies under investigation, teclistamab is the furthest along in development and we hope to see it approved by the FDA later this year!

Impact of COVID-19 in MM

Patients with MM have compromised immune systems due to multiple factors that may increase the risk of severe COVID-19.  Dr. Amit Mitra and colleagues analyzed risk factors associated with COVID-19 severity and death in patients with MM using a national database of COVID-19 cases (ABSTRACT 8008). The results showed that Black patients as well as those with a history of lung or kidney disease were more likely to become very sick from COVID-19. Treatment with immunomodulatory drugs was also associated with an increase in the risk of COVID-19 severity. A protective association was observed between COVID-19 severity and a stem cell transplant, Darzalex therapy, and COVID-19 vaccination.  Overall, the survival probability was 91% across the course of the study.

Researchers identified previously unpublished potential risk factors for COVID-19 severity and death in MM as well as confirmed some published ones. The authors add that this is the largest nationwide study on MM patients with COVID-19.

Early or Late Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation

One of the most important studies to investigate the optimal timing of ASCT in newly diagnosed myeloma patients is the large, phase 3 international study call the DETERMINATION trial. This study was conducted in Europe by the IFM group (called the IFM 2009 trial) and in the US led by Dr. Paul Richardson at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Both the European and American trials compared early versus late ASCT for newly diagnosed myeloma patients. Patients were divided in 2 groups:

  • Early ASCT: Revlimid-Velcade-dexamethasone (RVd) followed by ASCT and consolidation with RVd followed by maintenance with Revlimid
  • Late ASCT (ie, at relapse): RVd induction and consolidation followed by Revlimid maintenance
  • The only difference between the European and American trials was that maintenance therapy was either given for 1 year (European) or until disease progression (American)

The results from the European trial, previously reported, has already shown that patients in the early ASCT group have a longer time until disease progression than patients treated in the late ASCT group, but overall survival was similar between the groups.

In a late-breaking abstract (ABSTRACT LBA4), Dr. Paul Richardson and colleagues presented the highly anticipated first  findings from the US trial in which  722 patients with NDMM between the ages of 18 and 65 were randomly assigned to the two arms. Of note, the study enrolled 19% Black myeloma patients.  Results showed

  • PFS was only 46 months for late transplant to 68 months for early transplant. However, Black patients did not seem to have the same PFS advantage with early transplant as other patients
  • No difference was seen in overall survival (OS) between treatment groups

The data confirmed high-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant as part of initial therapy as an important treatment option for many patients that is proven to extend remission. That said, researchers also concluded that early transplant is not critical for every patient and that treatment can be adapted for each patient in consultation with their physician. Dr. Paul Richardson and colleagues also noted the use of continuous maintenance therapy with Revlimid until progression in both groups offered substantial clinical benefit.

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Myeloma Matters Podcast Series

Podcast Topic Date
Bone Health June 30, 2022 View Recording
Targeted Immunotherapy August 30, 2022 View Recording

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Revised International Staging System (R-ISS) Criteria

Stage Criteria
I ß2-M less than or equal to 3.5mg/L and albumin greater than or equal to 3.5 g/dL
Absence of higher-risk DNA abnormalities
Normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
II Not Stage I or III
III ß2-M greater than or equal to 5.5mg/L and either
Presence of higher-risk DNA abnormalities or
High LDH
ß2-M = beta2-microglobulin
Higher-risk DNA abnormalities include del(17p) and/or translocation (t4;14) and/or translocation (14;16)
LDH = lactate dehydrogenase

Measuring your prognosis

Test Indication Values Indicating a More Favorable Prognosis
Beta 2-microglobulin (β2-microglobulin or β2-M) Higher levels reflect more extensive disease and poor kidney function. <3.5 mg/mL
Albumin level Higher levels may indicate better prognosis. ≥3.5 g/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level Higher levels indicate more extensive disease. Age ≤60yrs.: 100-190 U/L
Age >60yrs.: 110-210 U/L
Freelite® serum free light chain assay Abnormal results may indicate poor prognosis (also indicates risk of progression of MGUS or asymptomatic myeloma to symptomatic myeloma). Free light chain ratio MGUS: 0.26-1.65
Asymptomatic myeloma: 0.125-8.0
Symptomatic myeloma: 0.03-32
Chromosome analysis (cytogenetic testing by either karyotyping or FISH) Presence of specific abnormalities may indicate poor prognosis. Absence of abnormalities
Gene expression profiling Presence of specific group of genes can predict low or high risk of early relapse. Personalize risk score

Patient Webinar

Webinar Topic Date
Learn Your Labs Tuesday, February 4, 2020 1:00PM ET View Recording View Slides
Supportive Care Wednesday, March 4, 2020 1:00PM ET View Recording View Slides
Smoldering Myeloma Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:00PM EDT View Recording

Accredited activities

View Activity

Topic Date Link
What’s My (Next) Line? Treating Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma When Three Prior Treatment Lines Fail Expires: September 30, 2023 Learn More
Myeloma Masters: The Ultimate Myeloma Patient Care Quiz Show Expires: April 27, 2023 Learn More
Ace the Case: Worsening Fatigue and Diarrhea in a 64-Year-Old Woman With IgA Lambda Multiple Myeloma Expires: March 23, 2023 Learn More
Ace the Case: 71-Year-Old Woman With IgG Lambda Multiple Myeloma at Third Relapse Expires: March 9, 2023 Learn More
Ace the Case: 79-Year-Old Man With Lower Back Pain, Increasing Fatigue, and Right Rib Pain Expires: February 24, 2023 Learn More
A Glimpse Into the Future of Myeloma Patient Management Expires: January 24, 2023 Learn More

Patient toolkit

Program Chair(s) Date Location of Event Access Link
Program Chair Robert Z. Orlowski MD, PhD Elisabeth E. Manansanch, MD May 21, 2020 Virtual View Recording View Slides

Patient toolkit

Title Download Links
Managing Myeloma Resource Brochure English Spanish
Multiple Myeloma Disease Overview English Spanish
Multiple Myeloma Treatment Overview English Spanish
Multiple Myeloma Caregiver Guide English Spanish
Precision Medicine Brochure English Spanish
Immunotherapy English Spanish
Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation English
Myeloma Precursor Conditions English

Register to speak to a myeloma mentor



Let’s connect

Contact the MMRF with any questions or comments—whether you are a patient, caregiver, researcher or clinician, we are always glad to hear from you.



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Revised International Staging System for multiple myeloma

Stage Criteria
I ß2-M<3.5mg/L and albumin ≥3.5 g/dL and Absence of high-risk DNA abnormalitiesaand Normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
I Not Stage I or III
III ß2-M≥5.5mg/L and
Presence of high-risk DNA abnormalitiesaor
High LDH
ß2-M = beta2-microglobulin
aHigh-risk DNA abnormalities include del(17p) and/or translocation t(4;14) and/or translocation t(14;16)

Measuring your prognosis

Test Indication Values Indicating a More Favorable Prognosis
Beta 2-microglobulin
(β2-microglobulin or β2-M)
Higher levels reflect more extensive disease and poor kidney function <3 mg/mL
Albumin level Higher levels may indicate better prognosis ≥3.5 g/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level Higher levels indicate more extensive disease Age ≤60yrs.: 100-190 U/L
Age >60yrs.: 110-210 U/L
Albumin level Higher levels may indicate better prognosis ≥3.5 g/dL
FreeliteTM serum free light chain assay Abnormal results may indicate poor prognosis (also indicates risk of progression of MGUS or asymptomatic myeloma or symptomatic myeloma Free light chain ratio MGUS: 0.26-1.65
Asymptomatic myeloma:0.125-8.0
Symptomatic myeloma:0.03-32

Expert Sessions

Program Chair(s) Date Location of Event
Noa Biran, MD
Paul G. Richardson, MD
June 29, 2022 Virtual View Recording View Transcript & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Noa Biran, MD
C. Ola Landgren, MD, PHD
November, 10, 2021 Virtual View Recording View Transcript & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Irene Ghobrial, MD
Elisabet E. Manasanch, MD
August 18, 2021 Virtual View Recording View Transcript & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall

 

Meet Brianne:

  • Senior Associate, Events and Partnerships
  • Favorite 5K Fundraising Tip: Make your ask in several different ways (in person, on Facebook, by email, etc.!)
  • Cheer Squad: My boyfriend, parents, two brothers and best friends.

Contact Me

 

Meet Ashley:

  • Manager, Events and Partnerships
  • 1 year with the MMRF Walk/Run Team
  • Favorite 5K Fundraising Tip: Set a goal and break it down for your supporters (Example: If 20 people donate $25 I’ll reach my goal of $500 towards a cure!).
  • Cheer Squad:  My parents, sister and local community.

Contact Me

 

Meet Ed:

  • Race Manager, MMRF Team for Cures 5K Walk/Run Program
  • 3 years with the MMRF Walk/Run Team
  • Favorite 5K Fundraising Tip: Take advantage of the power of social media.
  • Cheer Squad: My family. (Father: Ed, Mother: Susan, Sister: Kiera) And my super supportive girlfriend, Elyse.

Contact Me

 

Meet Jane:

  • Director, Events & Partnerships
  • 13 years with the MMRF Endurance Team, and 3 years with the MMRF Walk/Run Team
  • Favorite 5K Fundraising Tip: Cast a wide net. You never know who will surprise you.
  • Cheer Squad: My husband Michael and 3 grown kids.

Contact Me



 

Meet Lauren

  • Associate Director, Events and Partnerships
  • 4 years with the MMRF Endurance Team
  • 3-time Marathon Finisher (Smutty Nose, Hartford, NYC)
  • Favorite Race Day Tip: Always smile!  It will release natural endorphins and you will look good in the photos!
  • Marathon Mantra: Faster, harder, stronger!
  • Cheer Squad: Her husband and 2 cats

Contact Me

 

Meet Jane

  • Director, Events & Partnerships
  • 13 years with the MMRF Endurance Team
  • 8-time Marathon Finisher (Chicago, Boston 2X, Disney, National, Philly 2X, Mystic)
  • Favorite Race Day Tip: You will not sleep well the night before your marathon, so don’t sweat it! Hoard sleep leading up to race weekend
  • Marathon Mantra: You did your homework. You’ve got this!
  • Cheer Squad: Husband and 3 grown kids

Contact Me

Leadership and Corporate Connections

For further inquiries on leadership and our strategic plan please fill out the below information. Once submitted, a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible.

Company Website:
Total Employees:
Annual Revenue:
Is your organization a 501(c)(3)?:
Is there a written strategic plan?:
Have you read the Playbook?:


Facebook Live Events

Faculty Date Event Topic
Ola Landgren, MD
Dennis Verducci, MSN, RN, NP-BC, OCN
September 7, 2022 MM Precursor Conditions View Recording
Andrew Yee, MD
Stephanie Sanford, NP
July 28, 2022 MM Following Relapse After 1-3 Prior Lines of Therapy View Recording
Ravi Vij, MD
Angela Vickroy, NP
July 20, 2022 FAQs From the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting View Recording
Sergio Giralt, MD
Emily Patterson, NP
June 29, 2022 Treatments, Monitoring, and Maintenance for Newly Diagnosed Patients View Recording View Transcript
Ken Shain, MD, PhD
Christine Simonelli, BSN, RN, OCN
May 24, 2022 MM Diagnosis and Prognosis View Recording View Transcript
Sandy Wong, MD
Donna D. Catamero, ANP-BC, OCN, CCRC
April 14, 2022 MM Following Relapse After 3 or More Lines of Therapy View Recording View Transcript
Craig E. Cole, MD,
Amy Pierre, RN, MSN, ANP-BC
October 25, 2021 MM Precursor Conditions in the Black Community View Recording






High Impact Topics Videos

High impact topic videos, or HITs, are videos that use engaging animations and narration to present information on topics of importance to myeloma patients and their caregivers. Presented in a patient-friendly manner and viewable on iPads, tablets, and smartphones, these HITs bring to life and explain concepts that can sometimes be difficult for patients and caregivers to understand.

The MMRF wishes to thank the following reviewers and contributors to these HITs: Craig Emmitt Cole, MD; Faith E. Davies, MBBCh, MRCP, MD, FRCPath; Marc Davis; Irene Ghobrial, MD; Colin Todd Kennedy; Amrita Y. Krishnan, MD; Ola Landgren, MD, PhD; Louise Miller Lavin, BSN, MSN, LPCC; Joshua Richter, MD; Nina Shah, MD.

Title Description
MRD (Minimal residual disease) Learn what MRD is, how it is measured, and what it might mean if your doctor tells you that you are MRD positive or MRD negative.
Immunotherapy Understand how your immune system interacts with your myeloma, and how new immunotherapies are helping patients’ immune systems recognize and destroy myeloma cells.
Genomics Hear how doctors can use genomic information from your myeloma cells to provide therapy that is tailored to your myeloma subtype.
Learn Your Labs This video provides information on laboratory tests that myeloma patients may undergo. Learn about why and how the tests are done and what the results mean.
Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ACST) Learn the risks and benefits of ACST, a key part of a personalized treatment plan for many myeloma patients.
Clinical Trials Discover how clinical trials work.
Multiple Myeloma Precursor Conditions Find out the difference between monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) and what factors may put individuals with these conditions at higher risk for progressing to multiple myeloma.
MMRF's The Right Track(TM) Program This HIT shows patients who have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma how to get on the right treatment path to their best outcome as quickly as possible.

Patient Summits

Program Chair(s) Date Location of Event
Andrzej J. Jakubowiak, MD, PhDv
Benjamin Derman, MD
Monique A. Hartley-Brown, MD, MMSc
Jing Christine Ye, MD, MSc
September 10, 2022 Chicago, IL (Online & In Person) Register Here
Ravi Vij, M.D., MBA August 20, 2022 St. Louis, MO (Online & In Person) Register Here Visit Exhibit Hall
C. Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D.
Joshua Richter, M.D.
June 18, 2022 Miami, FL (Online & In Person) View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Sagar Lonial, MD
Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH
April 23, 2022 Atlanta, GA
(Online & In Person)
View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Laura Finn, MD, MS March 19, 2022 Virtual View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Jeffrey Allan Zonder, MD February 19, 2022 Virtual View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Ravi Vij, MD, MBA January 29, 2022 Virtual View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Harsh V. Parmar, MD
David H. Vesole, MD, PhD, FACP
December 4, 2021 Virtual View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Larry D. Anderson, Jr, MD, PhD
Ankit J. Kansagra, MD
November 20, 2021 Virtual View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall

Patient Webinars

Webinar Topic Date      
Multiple Myeloma Precursor Conditions Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM (ET) View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Management of Patients Who Have Relapsed After One to Three Prior Lines of Therapy Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM (ET) View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Focus on Treatments, Monitoring, and Maintenance for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients Thursday, June 9, 2022, 2:00-3:00PM View Recording View Transcript & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
From Diagnosis to Prognosis: Understanding Multiple Myeloma (A Guide for Newly Diagnosed Patients) Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 2:00-3:00PM View Recording View Transcipt & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Treatment Options for Patients With Multiple Myeloma Who Have Relapsed After Three or More Lines of Therapy Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 1:00-2:00PM View Recording View Transcript & Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Multiple Myeloma Highlights From the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting Tuesday, December 21, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 PM View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Precision Medicine: Updates for Multiple Myeloma Patients Tuesday, November 23, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 PM View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Maintenance Therapy for Multiple Myeloma Patients Tuesday, October 19, 2021 1:00 - 2:00PM ET View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT) in Multiple Myeloma Wednesday, September 22, 2021
2:00 - 3:00PM ET
View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall 
Latest Updates on MRD Webinar Thursday, July 22, 2021
11:00AM - 12:00PM ET
View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall
ASCO Highlights Webinar Wednesday, June 23, 2021
4:00PM - 5:00PM ET
View Recording View Slides Visit Exhibit Hall

 

Greg Rubenstein - Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Greg Rubenstein is the VP of Marketing & Communications at the MMRF, where he leads all brand marketing strategy and execution in support of the organization.

Prior to joining the MMRF, Greg spent the majority of his career working for Advertising firms like Grey NY, Saatchi & Saatchi, FCB Health, and Deutsch -- servicing clients across a wide variety of sectors, including Healthcare, Technology, Financial Services, and Consumer Packaged Goods. He has brought to market countless products and campaigns over nearly 20 years, including high-profile healthcare launches in Vaccines and Women’s Health. In 2013 he joined a technology startup called Vettery, where he helped to launch the brand and all of its communications while serving as the company’s Chief Client Officer & lead brand strategist.

Greg is a graduate of Cornell University, with a B.S. in Psychology & Human Development. He resides in Irvington, NY with his wife and two sons.

Brittany Hartmann

RN, BSN – Patient Navigation Center

Brittany Hartmann, RN, joins the MMRF as a Nurse in the Patient Navigation Center. Brittany worked as a Myeloma Clinical Coordinator in a high-volume call center at the Ruttenberg Treatment Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for the past 5 years. Here, she supports myeloma patients in a variety of ways from triaging calls, to educating patients on their myeloma, labs and test results, and coordinating with research and management to implement integral changed and streamline processes for access to new treatments. Prior to Mount Sinai, she worked as an Oncology nurse at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey. Brittany earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Delaware, where she had the opportunity to be a student nurse for a private physician for over a year.

Candice Del Rio

Candice Del Rio

MS, BSN, BA, RN – Manager, Patient Navigation Center

Candice Del Rio is the Manager of the Patient Navigation Center at the MMRF. She is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the PNC and guiding myeloma patients through their disease journey. She most recently worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital for over 11 years as a Staff Nurse in the inpatient Hematology/Oncology unit and as a Clinical Research Nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Department. Prior to her career in nursing, she worked in marketing and advertising in the real estate industry for 4 years. She earned a BA degree in Communications with a concentration in Sociology from Boston College and completed her nursing education with BSN and MS degrees from Northeastern University.

 

Adrian Rosenkranz

Chief Operating Officer
Salesforce Essentials

Adrian Rosenkranz, a Multiple Myeloma caregiver, is the COO of Salesforce Essentials; in that role he’s responsible for steering the company’s operations, vision, and customer experience. With over a decade of experience in enterprise software, Adrian is widely respected for being a boots-on-the-ground leader with a track record of driving growth. Prior to his current position, Adrian held roles at Salesforce in Sales Strategy & Ops, Sales, and Corporate Marketing, giving him valuable experience in multiple revenue functions.  

Adrian serves on the board of the Stanford Athletics Buck/Cardinal Club, which supports all varsity sports at Stanford University. He has also served as an advisor for Harvard Business School's Kraft Precision Medicine program, using his experience with direct-to-consumer teams to help nonprofits accelerate precision medicine efforts via direct-to-patient engagement. 

Adrian earned his BS from Stanford University, where he also served as the kicker for the Stanford football team under Coach Jim Harbaugh. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he loves to exercise and explore the outdoors. 

 

Grace Allison

RN, BSN, OCN, RN-BC – Patient Navigation Center

Grace has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. She spent the last 28 years working at one of the largest myeloma programs in the U.S., the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She was fortunate to have spent her career at UAMS under the tutelage of one of the most well known myeloma physicians, Dr. Bart Barlogie. She received her nursing education in Ireland, and completed a bachelor’s of nursing degree at the University of Arkansas. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and a nationally Oncology Certified Nurse. She is also a board certified medical-surgical registered nurse (RN-BC).

Mindy Flinn, MBA – Vice President of Development

Mindy Flinn joined the MMRF in May 2020 as the Vice President of Development where she works with a talented team raising philanthropic support for the organization. She brings over 23 years of development experience to this position. Ms. Flinn spent over a decade in development at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and in Jacksonville, FL, where she oversaw the stewardship of top-level benefactors and served as a major gift officer. She also worked for the LIVESTRONG Foundation in Austin, TX as a major gift officer and was Director of Philanthropic Resources at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Prior to joining the MMRF, she was Senior Director of Development at Yale School of Medicine. Ms. Flinn received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bethel University and a Master of Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. Her additional accomplishments include successfully climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2012 as a member of Survivor Summit and skydiving. 

Rob Miani - Chief Financial Officer

Rob Miani joined the MMRF team as Chief Financial Officer in 2016. Most recently he was the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller of Aptuit, LLC, a global contract research organization providing integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry. Rob has over 20 years of leadership experience in the private and public sectors, holding managerial positions in the renewable energy, private equity, Internet and technology industries, including Davenport Newberry, Oak Investment Partners and INT Media Group. He began his career with Arthur Anderson LLP in the Assurance and Business Advisory Services Division. Rob is a CPA and received his BS degree in Accounting from Fairfield University.

Paul Giusti

President
Riverwoods Holdings, LLC

Paul Giusti is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Prior to the MMRF, Mr. Giusti worked as a Chief Executive Officer, leader, executive and entrepreneur for over 30 years; he has founded, managed and led a variety of businesses. Early in his career, Mr. Giusti worked as an executive for GE where he held a number of management positions with a wide range of responsibilities.

Mr. Giusti has worked closely with the MMRF since its founding in 1998. In addition to chairing the successful $100 million capital campaign, he has served as a consultant for a number of foundation projects, led several MMRF outreach efforts and spoken on behalf of the MMRF.

Mr. Giusti holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Harvard University.

Kathy Giusti

Founder and Chief Mission Officer
MMRF and MMRC

Faculty Co-Chair, HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator
Harvard Business School

Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, is the Founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). She is also the Chief Mission Officer of the MMRF. Kathy is the Henry & Allison McCance Family Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, where she serves as Faculty Co-Chair of the HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator. Kathy has more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, previously holding senior positions at G.D. Searle and Merck.

Since founding the MMRF in 1998, Kathy has become a widely respected leader in establishing innovative, collaborative research models in the areas of tissue banking, genomics, and clinical trials. These models are dramatically accelerating the pace at which lifesaving treatments are brought to patients and are building an end-to-end solution in precision medicine. Today, she is recognized as a pioneer of precision medicine, a champion of data sharing, and a strong advocate for patient engagement.

In 2016, Kathy was named Faculty Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, a $20 million program endowed by Robert Kraft and the Kraft Family Foundation. Under her leadership, the HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator convenes best-in-class leaders from science, business, and technology to identify and solve challenges slowing the advancement of precision medicine. The HBS Kraft PM Accelerator disseminates best practices and models to overcome these challenges, and ultimately enables faster adoption of high-impact innovations.

Kathy has earned numerous prestigious awards and recognitions, including being named 1 of 3 Top Business Leaders Disrupting Medicine by Fortune Magazine and #19 on Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. She was also named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People by TIME magazine. Kathy received the Open Science Champion of Change award by the White House. In addition, she has been honored with the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Woman of the Year Award.

Kathy serves on the advisory boards of Verily and Verily’s Project Baseline and is a member of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Health Advisory Board. She a Member of the FasterCures Non-Profit Council. Kathy previously served on President Obama’s 2015 Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), and the National Cancer Policy Board (NCBP).

Kathy has been featured on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fox News, CNN, and Bloomberg. Her efforts have also been profiled by Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Forbes, The New Yorker, WIRED, and Fast Company.

Kathy received her MBA in general management from Harvard Business School and holds an honorary Doctorate from the University of Vermont.

Learn more about Kathy.

Sarah Coulter

RN, OCN

Sarah has been a registered nurse for the past five years, specializing in Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant. She has spent over ten years in the Oncology field and started her career at Yale New Haven Hospital. Over the last three years, Sarah worked as a traveling nurse in California, South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Maryland. She earned her nursing degree from St. Vincent’s School of Nursing. She is chemotherapy certified and is currently in school to obtain her master’s degree in nursing education.

 

Erin Mensching

RN, BSN, BA, OCN – Patient Navigation Center

Manager

Erin is the Manager of the Patient Navigation Center. She is passionate about helping to guide myeloma patients and to further research for the myeloma community. She has been a registered oncology nurse for ten years. She served on the Patient Council Committee at the Norwalk Hospital and is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society. Erin is a graduate of Fairfield University’s School of Nursing and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. Prior to becoming an oncology nurse, Erin was a healthcare representative for Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis.

 

Christopher Williams - Vice President of Business Development

 Christopher Williams was named Vice President of Business Development at the MMRF in 2017, responsible for business development, partnership and joint venture efforts for the foundation. He is a business development leader with a strong scientific background, specializing in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics space. Most recently he served as the VP of Business Development at WaveSense where he was in charge of their US commercialization strategy and product expansion, as well as being responsible for overseeing their strategic partner relationships.

Previously Chris was VP of Business Development at SkylineDx, providing commercialization strategy for their oncology portfolio. With PerkinElmer, as the Market Segment Leader in Oncology, he had responsibility for their cancer diagnostic products including strategy, launch activities, external presentations and marketing execution.

While at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Chris held roles in the Protein Science, Technology Development and Proteomics groups. He also had scientific roles at Schering-Plough and the Sandoz Research Institute.

Chris holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in Microbiology/Molecular Biology and Protein Biochemistry from Clemson University. 

Steve Varley - Vice President, Development

Steve Varley joined the MMRF team in 2018 and is responsible for the fundraising efforts of the organization. Most recently he served as Associate Dean for Advancement at Yale University, leading the fundraising efforts for Yale School of Nursing. Previously he worked as the Vice President for Advancement at Gardner-Webb University where he organized and successfully executed the University’s most recent capital campaign. Steve received a BS degree from Chowan University and holds an MBA from Gardner-Webb University.

Laura Gilman - Vice President of Events

Laura Gilman is the Vice President of Events at the MMRF where she manages the entire events portfolio. Prior to joining the MMRF in 2010 Ms. Gilman was the Vice President of Citigroup’s Investment Research Conferences where she directed the design and execution of the bank’s high profile research conferences and events. Before joining Citigroup, Ms. Gilman was the Director of Meetings, Client Relations and Incentives at Victoria’s Secret Beauty. She began her career at Morgan Stanley managing the bank’s IPO Roadshows. Ms. Gilman has over 20 years of experience designing and executing events and initiatives that generate revenue. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the Catholic University of America and lives in Westport, CT with her husband and son.

Karen Dietz, JD, MBA - Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

 

Karen Dietz, JD, MBA, is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. Karen is responsible for overseeing the Legal and Human Resource Departments, corporate governance, compliance, contributes to strategic planning, oversees planning and execution of the organization’s operating plans, and collaborates with other disease foundations to share insights from MMRF success.

Additionally, Karen has concentrated efforts on optimizing the governance structure of the MMRF’s subsidiary companies: Myeloma Investment Fund (MIF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). Karen has worked with the consortium sites and pharma companies to launch nearly 100 multi-center clinical trials including the first-ever myeloma platform trial, MyDRUG.

Prior to joining the MMRF in 2007, Karen worked as In-House Counsel at Océ Imagistics North America a subsidiary of Canon Printers, was the Legal Counsel for the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, and worked at the Law Firm of Attorney Raymond Lubus, Corporate Payroll Services, Orion Mobility, and Praxair.

Karen earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence and her Masters of Business Administration from Western New England University. Karen earned her Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration from Western Connecticut State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne Quinn Young, MPH - Chief Marketing and Development Officer

Anne Quinn Young, MPH, is the Chief Marketing and Development Officer at the MMRF and is responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of the organization’s marketing, communications, patient engagement, and fundraising efforts in support of the organization’s mission to accelerate precision medicine and a cure for every patient.  

Anne has been named to the PharmaVoice 100, and represents the MMRF on a number of working groups and committees including the Direct-to-Patient (DTP) solutions team at the Harvard Business School (HBS) Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator and the Cancer Support Community Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Multiple Myeloma National Advisory Board. She has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed abstracts and publications on the MMRF Precision Medicine Model and identifying knowledge gaps and opportunities to improve patient empowerment and engagement in optimizing their own outcomes.

Prior to joining the MMRF in 2002, she was a consultant in the Healthcare Practice of Datamonitor, a global market research and business intelligence company. She previously worked in healthcare public relations at Burson-Marsteller and the Chandler Chicco Agency, following a postgraduate internship at the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. Anne has a Masters of Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University and graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.

 

 

Mike Mortimer

Managing Partner and Founder
GHO Capital

Chairman of the Board
MMRF

Mike is an experienced healthcare industry senior executive who brings a 30+ years track record in operational and management positions.

In his former role as an Executive Vice President in the core leadership team at Quintiles (now IQVIA), Mike was instrumental to driving the international growth of a now leading global Clinical Research Organisation. Prior to Quintiles, Mike was a Senior Vice President at Charles Schwab, responsible for the global retail and internet organizations.

Mike currently sits on the boards of Envision, X-Chem, Ardena, BioAgilytix, Validant and Alcaliber and has overseen successful exits from Quotient Sciences and Caprion Biosciences.

Originally from the US and holding a bachelor’s degree in Behavioural Sciences from the Ohio State University, Mike has worked and lived across the USA, UK and Asia.

Steven Labkoff, MD, FACP, FACMI - Chief Data Officer 

Dr. Steven Labkoff is the Chief Data Officer at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Dr. Labkoff is a global medical leader with a track record of developing cutting edge strategies towards new healthcare delivery models. He has demonstrated success in the convergence of medicine, life sciences and policy across disparate organizations including government, non-government organizations (NGOs), health plans and academic institutions. He joined the MMRF after a 25-year career in healthcare informatics for the Life Science Industry where he worked on a wide array of issues ranging from the secondary uses of healthcare data for Life Sciences, health information technology policy, Big Data and analytics and medical affairs. He was most recently Executive Director, Medical Strategy at Purdue Pharma. In that role he led Purdue’s Big Data initiative as well as medical strategy for both pipeline and inline products. Prior to Purdue he was Vice President of Life Sciences at Intelligent Medical Objects focused on leveraging medical vocabularies, ontologies, and terminologies for Life Science customers.

From 2011-2014 he was Executive Director, R&D Informatics and Head of Strategic Programs in AstraZeneca’s Research & Development Information Department where he led groups on Real World Evidence and Payer Evidence, Personalized Medicine and Biomarkers and Clinical Trials Design and Interpretation, dedicated to leveraging healthcare data for the development of ethical pharmaceuticals.

Previously, Dr. Labkoff was an instructor of Medicine and Medical Informatics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Medical Informatics where he focused on the uses of point-of-care computing and mHealth. He did his cardiology training at the University for Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, his medical training at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Medical Informatics, and an executive board member of the American Medical Informatics Association.

 

Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD - Chief Medical Officer 

Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD joined the MMRF as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Cho is responsible for developing the MMRF’s clinical research strategy and accelerating drug development programs as well as for leading the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a group of 25 leading research centers dedicated to researching and advancing treatment options for multiple myeloma patients.

Hearn Jay Cho is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and an Attending Physician with the Multiple Myeloma Service at the Mt. Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute. Dr. Cho’s laboratory is investigating novel therapies for multiple myeloma in two areas.

First, they are investigating immunologic therapies with a focus on using cutting edge genomic and immunologic assays to map the interaction between myeloma and the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. These projects illuminate the mechanisms of action of novel immune therapies in both laboratory models and clinical trials and will inform the design of rational combinations. This program has a special focus on immunologic therapy in the setting of autologous stem cell transplantation for myeloma.

Second, Dr. Cho’s group discovered that two of the type I Melanoma Antigen GEnes (MAGE), MAGE-A3 and MAGE-C1, are commonly expressed in multiple myeloma and are correlated with progression of disease and proliferation. They demonstrated that type I MAGE plays a critical role in conferring resistance to chemotherapy and inhibition of apoptosis in myeloma cells through regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins and the tumor suppressor p53. Dr. Cho’s group is conducting biochemical and structural studies to identify novel pharmacologic strategies for inhibition of type I MAGE activity in myeloma.

 

 

Randi S.Randi S

51, from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Initially Diagnosed: 2016
Current Diagnosis: Relapsed, Refractory
Treatment Received: SCT, Cytoxan, Revlimid, Velcade

Upon Randi’s diagnosis, she conducted an abundance of research and tried to keep an optimistic mindset. She decided to pursue the treatment plan that had a more holistic approach, and if it came to a point in which she needed a transplant, she wanted to pick the environment that felt the most nurturing. Randi knew that there were many steps and lifestyle changes that she had to make towards her healing. Her diagnosis affected her in medicinal, environmental, holistic, mental, personal and spiritual ways. She continues to maintain her super healthy lifestyle and practices good dietary habits. It was difficult for Randi to believe that she had cancer, as she had to learn to recreate herself and was grateful to be alive. Randi is very active in the multiple myeloma community and participates in races all over the country. She told her doctors that she was willing to do her homework to propose to them ways in which she could slowly return to participating (to a certain degree) in some of her active hobbies and most importantly, she has learned to listen to her body.

Evelyn H.

62, from the Houston, TX area
Initially Diagnosed: 2014
Current Diagnosis: recently completed 2nd Autologous Stem Cell Transplant
Treatments Received: bortezomib, dexamethasone, lenalidomide , carfilzomib , daratumumab, and pomalidomide

Evelyn has been living with MM for almost nine years.  What she has learned from this was to expect the unexpected.  She had her first relapse in January of 2021, which was unexpected.  After completing treatment she was back into a complete response.  What she has found helpful to persevere along the journey was a strong support team – in healthcare, spiritual aspects, family and circle of friends.  She believes it’s imperative to have the entire team working in tandem.  Developing short term and long term treatment plans with her healthcare team, and allowing room for adjustment as needed has been a part of process.  Evelyn looks forward to helping others navigate their unexpected.

Tricia C.Tricia C

59, from Rocky Hill, CT
Initially Diagnosed: 2014
Current Diagnosis: In Remission
Treatment Received: SCT, RVD, IVIG, Clinical Trial Participant

In 2005, Tricia was dealing with extreme fatigue. Her primary care physician ordered routine bloodwork and found that she was severely anemic. She was then sent to a local hematologist who did a bone marrow biopsy. At this time she was diagnosed with smoldering myeloma after receiving a second opinion. It wasn’t until 2014 that she was diagnosed with active Multiple Myeloma. Tricia participates in MMRF events in hopes of furthering multiple myeloma research. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with other myeloma patients and is looking forward to helping others understand this disease better and find resources for them that will help with their personal myeloma journey.

Lisa B.

37, Trumbull, CT
Initially Diagnosed: MGUS 28, MM 30
Current Diagnosis: Multiple Myeloma-stable
Treatment Received: Revlimid, Velcade, Dex, Autologous SCT, Pomalyst, Carfilzomib @ MSK in NY

Lisa was diagnosed with MGUS at age 28  -  discovered during a routine physical exam showing high protein levels in her bloodwork, but she was otherwise asymptomatic. After 18 months,  MGUS developed into MM, requiring immediate treatment at age 30. Dealing with cancer at such a young age was shocking, challenging and unrelatable/lonely, but with a strong support system, cancer mentors, great doctors/treatment, The MMRF, a positive outlook, education, faith and perseverance she reached complete remission after transplant and lived a very 'new normal' life, still able to balance career, life, and her condition.  Lisa relapsed after about 5 years, but her condition is currently stable. Lisa wants to help other cancer patients by mentoring, sharing experiences,  and offering resources, but most importantly helping them realize they are not alone.

Ethan H.Ethan H

28, from Worcester, MA
Initially Diagnosed: 2013
Current Diagnosis: In Remission, Multiple myeloma with solitary plasmacytoma
Treatment Received: Radiation, Bone replacement, SCT, VRD, Ninlaroe

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma seven years ago at the age of 22. It started with pain in my hip that was quickly diagnosed as cancer. I understand the disruption to “normalcy” that a multiple myeloma diagnosis may have caused for you. I’ve made it my mission to make a difference for others dealing with this disease. This time period can be filled with uncertainty, but the thing that has always helped, whether it was the day of the diagnosis or currently, is the importance of having people in your life that are there for you.

Casey Joe W.Casey Joe W

36, from Acworth, GA
Initially Diagnosed: 2008
Current Diagnosis: In Remission
Treatment Received: Bone replacement, SCT, Velcade, Revlimid, Ninlaro

I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma when I was 26 years old. I was a bit lost at first because I was very young when I received this diagnosis, but I soon realized that everyone experiences it differently. Since my diagnosis, I’ve had to cut back on a lot of physical things I used to do, like exercising. I’ve learned how to manage my energy and put it towards things that matter most to me. I am very motivated to share my experiences with others battling this disease and hope to empower other patients during their journey.

Annamarie K.Anna Marie K

50, from Norwalk, CT
Initially Diagnosed: Husband JP in 2014
Current Diagnosis: Relapsed, Refractory

My husband, JP, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma six years ago at the age of 48. We do whatever we can to support the MMRF and to keep a positive mindset about our situation. It has been a journey from day one, but I feel we are confident going forward. I’m thrilled to be at this point in our lives to be able to help others. I’m so appreciative of the help we’ve received, and I’m grateful for this opportunity because we understand how this journey with multiple myeloma can be overwhelming.

Carmen P.Carmen P

52, from Little Silver, NJ
Initially Diagnosed: 2002
Current Diagnosis: Relapsed, Refractory
Treatment Received: Tandem SCT, Allogenic SCT, RVD, Clinical Trial Participant

Carmen’s experience leading up to her diagnosis was unique in that she did not present any symptoms and was diagnosed via pre-pregnancy bloodwork. It revealed that she had low platelets and was anemic. At the time, Carmen was diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma, as she did not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with active multiple. Carmen’s multiple myeloma status continued to be smoldering for a total of 8 years until December 2010. Carmen strives to stay positive and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. She has persevered and embraces the changes that her diagnosis has caused in her life.

Andrew G.Andrew G

67, from Harrisburg, PA
Initially Diagnosed: 2013
Current Diagnosis: In Remission
Treatment Received: SCT, RVD, Revlimid for maintenance

Andrew’s biggest challenge after receiving his diagnosis was educating himself on this disease. His healthcare team embraced his determination to educate himself, which gave him additional confidence in his doctors. Andrew has kept a  positive outlook and is self-motivating. One motivating factor he had was retirement; although, he only wanted to semi-retire. He remains an active grandfather to his two young grandsons and helps his daughter by babysitting them. He feels that his multiple myeloma journey has made him a better person in that he is more compassionate and understanding.

Jessie D.Jessie D

54, from Vermillion, SD
Initially Diagnosed: 2016
Current Diagnosis: Smoldering
Treatment Received: None at this time

Jessie is determined to not let her diagnosis define her and dominate her life; therefore, she has taken control of the situation by continuing her research and education on her diagnosis and learning the importance of practicing self-awareness and self-advocacy for her own health. She has become dedicated in her efforts to incorporate being health-conscious in her lifestyle. Prior to her diagnosis, Jessie’s sense of self was connected to her career. Now, she's revisiting this and learning how to reinvent herself and the lifestyle she plans to lead.

Jeffery G.Jeffrey G

59, from Chicago, IL
Initially Diagnosed: 2010
Current Diagnosis: Relapsed, Refractory
Treatment Received: Tandem SCT, Ninlaro, Revlimid, Velcade, Pomalyst, Darzalex

Jeffery stresses the importance of staying motivated and positive. He manages his lifestyle and nutrition to do what he can to have a full and active life. He is determined to continue his active hobbies. Before and after his diagnosis, he has continued to participate in his hobbies as a marathon runner, hunter, fisherman, and hiker. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro earlier this year and is taking a summer vacation with his wife to Montana to backpack and hike. Doing the things he loves helps him feel empowered against his disease. He also has found strength in becoming an active member of the multiple myeloma community. Jeffery has been extensively involved in the "mother ship" of MMRF. Jeffery is passionate about raising awareness of MMRF and helping others navigate their way and to find their path.

Daniel Auclair, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer 

Dr. Daniel Auclair is the Chief Scientific Officer for the MMRF and has been with the organization for over a decade. He is responsible for oversight of the development and execution of the organization’s scientific plan. In addition, he is responsible for all the MMRF preclinical and translational activities. Dr, Auclair is also deeply involved in the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a network of 25 multiple myeloma centers of excellence across the U.S. through which 82 multiple myeloma clinic trials have been run to date.

Dr. Auclair was selected by PharmaVoice in 2017 as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the life-sciences industry. After completing his graduate studies in Montreal and postdoctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center where he conducted seminal multiple myeloma genomic work, Dr. Auclair then spent a decade in early cancer drug discovery in biotech/pharma, mostly at Bayer where he worked, among others, on overseeing the Bayer-Millennium cancer genomics drug collaboration as well as on Nexavar and Stivarga. He also worked at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where as a senior manager in the Cancer Program he was involved in a wide range of academic and industry collaborations centered around cancer genomics and precision medicine initiatives. 

Michael Andreini – President and Chief Executive Officer

 

Michael Andreini is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). Michael brings nearly 15 years of strategic consulting and operational experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining the MMRF, Michael was an Associate Principal at IQVIA in the consulting services organization where he developed strategies for biopharma, medical device, and non-profit organizations to drive innovation and operational excellence across a diverse set of business challenges including R&D and launch strategy, commercial due diligence and portfolio optimization, and organizational effectiveness. Before joining IQVIA, Michael worked at Fuld & Company, a boutique consulting firm specializing in competitive intelligence and strategy, and prior to that, at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in the Global Technical Operations group where he resolved technical issues for immunoassay reagents and systems. Michael earned a B.A. in chemistry with a minor concentration in economics from Colgate University.

 

Paul Giusti – President, Riverwoods Holdings, LLC

Paul Giusti is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Prior to the MMRF, Mr. Giusti worked as a Chief Executive Officer, leader, executive and entrepreneur for over 30 years; he has founded, managed and led a variety of businesses. Early in his career, Mr. Giusti worked as an executive for GE where he held a number of management positions with a wide range of responsibilities.

Mr. Giusti has worked closely with the MMRF since its founding in 1998. In addition to chairing the successful $100 million capital campaign, he has served as a consultant for a number of foundation projects, led several MMRF outreach efforts and spoken on behalf of the MMRF.

Mr. Giusti holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Harvard University.

Kathy Giusti – Founder and Chief Mission Officer 

Faculty Co-Chair, HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator
Harvard Business School

Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, is the Founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). She is also the Chief Mission Officer of the MMRF. Kathy is the Henry & Allison McCance Family Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, where she serves as Faculty Co-Chair of the HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator. Kathy has more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, previously holding senior positions at G.D. Searle and Merck.

Since founding the MMRF in 1998, Kathy has become a widely respected leader in establishing innovative, collaborative research models in the areas of tissue banking, genomics, and clinical trials. These models are dramatically accelerating the pace at which lifesaving treatments are brought to patients and are building an end-to-end solution in precision medicine. Today, she is recognized as a pioneer of precision medicine, a champion of data sharing, and a strong advocate for patient engagement.

In 2016, Kathy was named Faculty Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, a $20 million program endowed by Robert Kraft and the Kraft Family Foundation. Under her leadership, the HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator convenes best-in-class leaders from science, business, and technology to identify and solve challenges slowing the advancement of precision medicine. The HBS Kraft PM Accelerator disseminates best practices and models to overcome these challenges, and ultimately enables faster adoption of high-impact innovations.

Kathy has earned numerous prestigious awards and recognitions, including being named 1 of 3 Top Business Leaders Disrupting Medicine by Fortune Magazine and #19 on Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. She was also named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People by TIME magazine. Kathy received the Open Science Champion of Change award by the White House. In addition, she has been honored with the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Woman of the Year Award.

Kathy serves on the advisory boards of Verily and Verily’s Project Baseline and is a member of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Health Advisory Board. She a Member of the FasterCures Non-Profit Council. Kathy previously served on President Obama’s 2015 Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), and the National Cancer Policy Board (NCBP).

Kathy has been featured on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fox News, CNN, and Bloomberg. Her efforts have also been profiled by Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Forbes, The New Yorker, WIRED, and Fast Company.

Kathy received her MBA in general management from Harvard Business School and holds an honorary Doctorate from the University of Vermont.

 

Laugh for Life:
New York

POSTPONED

Ziegfield Ballroom

Event information

Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Donec sed odio dui. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Maecenas sed diam eget risus varius blandit sit amet non magna. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis.

Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Vivamus sagittis lacus vel augue laoreet rutrum faucibus dolor auctor. Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Morbi leo risus, porta ac consectetur ac, vestibulum at eros.

Nicole Sandilands

RN, BSN, OCN

Nicole has been a registered nurse for five years, specializing in oncology and palliative care. She began her career as an inpatient oncology nurse at Yale providing bedside care to patients and then transitioned to Norwalk Hospital where she worked as a chemotherapy infusion nurse. She received her nursing degree from Fairfield University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). Her research focus is on “Chemo Brain” which is studying the cognitive changes experienced from receiving chemotherapy.

 

Gerald McDougall

Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Mr. McDougall is Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Sciences Practice, where he provides services to academic medical centers, bioscience companies, pharmaceutical companies, research universities, colleges, health systems, and other research organizations. His practice provides a broad range of research business and compliance services, including strategic and business planning, financial analysis, research compliance, clinical research operations improvement, and information systems implementation services.

In addition, his practice provides support services to the entire research continuum, from grant-funded basic science research, to translational research and clinical trials, including a dedicated group focusing on Clinical Research Consulting services.

Kristen Donadio

RN, BSN

Kristen has been a registered nurse for a little over 20 years. She spent the last 18 of those years working at the John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) in various nursing positions in both the Myeloma and Bone Marrow transplant clinics. Her last 2 years at JTCC were spent as the Administrative Supervisor of the Myeloma Division. She graduated from Stockton University with a degree in Public Health Administration, followed by an Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and she holds a certification in chemotherapy/biotherapy/immunotherapy administration. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

Sarah Coulter

RN, OCN

Sarah has been a registered nurse for the past five years, specializing in Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant. She has spent over ten years in the Oncology field and started her career at Yale New Haven Hospital. Over the last three years, Sarah worked as a traveling nurse in California, South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Maryland. She earned her nursing degree from St. Vincent’s School of Nursing. She is chemotherapy certified and is currently in school to obtain her master’s degree in nursing education.

 

Meryl Zausner

Former Chief Financial Officer
Novartis Corporation

Meryl Zausner has over 35 years of management experience across the pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. Meryl was instrumental in creating the blueprint for the successful Novartis Oncology Business Unit and engineering the launch of the first Novartis shared services organization.  A recognized developer of diverse talent, The Healthcare Businesswomen Association honored Meryl with its prestigious Woman of the Year Award.

For much of her corporate career, Meryl worked at Novartis AG, the Swiss pharmaceuticals company, in roles of increasing responsibility across diversified businesses. From April 2012 through 2014, Meryl was Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the US, and a member of the Pharmaceutical Executive Committee and Global Finance Leadership Team. While in this role, Meryl also resumed responsibility as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Novartis Corporation in the US.

Acknowledging her strong leadership and broad achievements, Novartis selected Meryl to train and serve as a certified Executive Coach to senior executives, a position she held from May 2015 until her retirement at the end of June 2017.  She has a BS in Economics and Accounting from the University at Albany and her CPA.

Meryl is a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Board member of Deirdre’s House, an advocacy center for children who are victims of abuse or neglect.  Former board positions include HBA Advisory Board, PhRMA Audit and Finance Subcommittee member, and the T.J. Martell

Foundation. PharmaVoice magazine recognized Meryl among its Most Inspiring, and she received Gilda Club’s Red Door Honoree. Meryl resides with her husband in Naples, Florida and Long Branch, New Jersey.

Steven Shak, MD

Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer
Genomic Health

Dedicated to optimizing cancer treatment outcomes and bringing the patient voice into product development, Steve Shak, M.D. has served as the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Genomic Health since 2012, and was the Chief Medical Officer from 2000 – 2013. Under Steve’s leadership Genomic Health used innovative molecular diagnostic methods and rigorous clinical studies to develop the Oncotype DX® breast cancer and colon cancer assays and has maintained an 80% product development success rate. Steve has been a leader in personalized medicine for more than two decades.

Prior to co-founding Genomic Health in 2000, Steve served for 14 years in various roles in Discovery Research and Medical Affairs at Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to using human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. Steve led the clinical team that gained approval for Herceptin®, a targeted biologic treatment for breast cancer. He also initiated the cancer clinical trials of the anti-angiogenesis agent, Avastin®.

In addition, Steve discovered Pulmozyme®, a mucus-dissolving enzyme that is approved worldwide for the treatment of the genetic disease cystic fibrosis.

Prior to joining Genentech, Steve was an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at New York University School of Medicine.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Amherst College and an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine, and completed his post-doctoral training at University of California, San Francisco.

Rodger Riney

Former CEO and Founder
Scottrade

Rodger Riney grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a Civil Engineering degree and an MBA.

In 1969, he joined Edward D. Jones & Co. in Saint Louis and later became a partner. In 1980, he left to enter the relatively new discount brokerage industry by starting Scottrade. Over the years, Scottrade evolved into an online brokerage and bank supporting its 3 million clients through 500 branch offices nationwide.

In the fall of 2015, Rodger was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and in late 2017, Scottrade was sold to TD Ameritrade.

In 2019, Mr. Riney started Lightchain Capital LLC, with a focus on various capabilities investing in early-stage biotech technologies with an emphasis on therapeutics for blood cancer and multiple myeloma.

Michael Reinert

Partner
Fox Rothschild LLP

Michael Reinert is a leading music industry attorney who most recently served as Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for the Universal Motown Republic Group, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. In that position, he had the pleasure of working with great talent such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse, Lil Wayne, Nelly, Jack Johnson and many other platinum selling acts.

Prior to joining Universal ten years ago, Michael was the Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for PolyGram Records, handling those duties for the legendary Verve Records label and Mercury Nashville Records where he worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Shania Twain. Michael started his career in private practice representing many artists, producers and writers before joining the corporate ranks.

Michael was an Adjunct Professor of Law at his alma mater, The Benjamin Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, for ten years teaching Contract Drafting and Negotiation in the Music Industry. He has been a contributing editor to the Practicing Law Institute volumes on the same subject and continues to lecture at various schools and seminars around the country.

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Entertainment Law Initiative of the Grammy Foundation, a division of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which focuses on legal education programs for aspiring entertainment attorneys.

Michael attended the Horace Mann School for Boys in Riverdale and Tulane University in New Orleans, a place he considers his second home. He lives in Manhattan with his wife of 30 years, Karen. They have a daughter and two beautiful grandchildren.

Marie E. Pinizzotto, M.D., MBA

President and CEO
Carol A. Ammon Foundation

Marie E. Pinizzotto, M.D., MBA, is currently the President and CEO of the Carol A. Ammon Foundation, a foundation focused on health care and education. Prior to running the foundation, she was president of Drug Safety Solutions, L.L.C., a Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management consulting company whose main focus was narcotics and other high-risk drugs.  Prior to starting her own company she worked at Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. where she was Senior Director of the Global Safety and Pharmacovigilance department.  In this role she was responsible for pharmacovigilance of all Endo products, marketed and investigational. Marie was also responsible for the safety components in the following disciplines; Clinical Research, Medical Affairs and Clinical Education and Development. In addition, she led the Risk Management Team and was responsible for the creation and implementation of Endo’s risk management programs. Additionally, she was Senior Director of Report Evaluation and Safety Surveillance for the Women’s Health Division and Consumer Products at Wyeth. 

Dr. Pinizzotto received her B.S in Chemistry, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College)in Philadelphia. She completed her residency at The Medical Center of Delaware, where she practiced obstetrics and gynecology for nine years. She still maintains privileges at the hospital.  Most recently, Dr. Pinizzotto earned her MBA at the University of Delaware.

Currently, Dr. Pinizzotto is the named Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Christiana Care Hospital, Newark, Delaware, and is also a trustee of the hospital.  She is a member of the finance committee and has participated on the Quality and Safety Committee at Christiana Care Health Systems.

In addition, she is a board member at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, California, and also sits on the quality improvement committee. Marie is named Chair, The Marie E. Pinizzotto, MD Chair of Academic Affairs, at Eisenhower Medical Center.

Dr. Pinizzotto is a director of The Carol A. Ammon Foundation, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. She also participates on the following advisory boards:  Scientific Steering Committee on Personalized Medicine for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation; The Presidents Leadership Council  of the University of Delaware, the Presidents Leadership Council at Jefferson Medical College and she is one of the founding members of the MGH Leadership Council for Psychiatry at Massachusetts General.

David R. Parkinson, MD

Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Board
Zyngenia. Inc.

From 2007 until 2012, Dr. Parkinson served as President and CEO of Nodality, a South San Francisco-based venture-financed biotechnology company developing technologies to enable personalized medicine and more efficient drug development in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Before joining Nodality, Dr. Parkinson was Senior Vice President, Oncology R&D, at Biogen Idec, overseeing oncology discovery research efforts and the development of the oncology pipeline. Previously he had served tenures as Vice President and Head of the Oncology Therapeutic Area at Amgen and Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Oncology Development at Novartis. During his tenures at Amgen and Novartis, Dr. Parkinson was responsible for clinical development activities leading to a series of successful global drug registrations for important cancer therapeutics, including Gleevec®, Femara®, Zometa®, Kepivance®, and Vectibix®.

He received his M.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1977, with Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology training at McGill University and at New England Medical Center. Dr. Parkinson has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and is a past Chairman of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Biologics Advisory Committee as well as a recipient of the FDA’s Cody Medal.

William_McKiernan_BW

William S. McKiernan

President
WSM Capital, LLC

Bill McKiernan is president of WSM Capital, LLC, a private equity firm he founded to invest in payment and other technology companies. Prior to founding WSM Capital, Bill founded CyberSource Corporation in 1994. CyberSource provides payment processing and other related services to online businesses. He was Chairman and CEO for 16 years. In July 2010, Visa, Inc. acquired CyberSource in a transaction valued at $2 billion. Mr. McKiernan served as Executive Advisor to Visa, Inc. for two years following the acquisition before founding WSM Capital in 2012.  

Mr. McKiernan holds a BS from Boston College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Prior to founding CyberSource he held positions at Price Waterhouse, IBM, and McAfee Associates.

In addition to the MMRF, he serves on the boards of trustees of Boston College, Bellarmine College Prep, and American Ireland Fund and is a member of Harvard Business School Global Advisors.

Laugh for Life:
New York

POSTPONED

Ziegfield Ballroom

Event information

Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Donec sed odio dui. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Maecenas sed diam eget risus varius blandit sit amet non magna. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis.

Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Vivamus sagittis lacus vel augue laoreet rutrum faucibus dolor auctor. Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Morbi leo risus, porta ac consectetur ac, vestibulum at eros.

Susan Marvin

Chair of the Board – The Marvin Companies

Susan Marvin, Chair of the Board of The Marvin Companies, was part of the third-generation management team in what is today a fourth-generation family owned and operated company.

Active in both profit and nonprofit boards, Susan serves on The Marvin Companies Board of Directors, M. A. Mortenson Company Board of Directors, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Board of Directors, the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors, the University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees and she is Chair of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation Board. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Gold.

Prior to her current role, Susan was President of Marvin Windows and Doors where she oversaw the fenestration business.

Susan is a 1979 graduate of the University of Minnesota where she earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism.  A native of Warroad, Minnesota, Susan now lives in both Warroad and Minneapolis with her husband, Keith Schwartzwald.

Hugh Martin

Vice President of Strategy, Smart Communities
Verizon

Hugh Martin joined Verizon through the acquisition of Sensity Systems by Verizon in October 2016. Hugh created the vision for Sensity Systems and the Light Sensory Network and is responsible for steering the company’s strategic course. His 35-year track record as an entrepreneurial leader of cutting-edge technology companies, new ventures, and high-growth businesses includes serving at the helm of numerous highly successful organizations. In 2011, he was named CEO for Fortune magazine’s ‘Executive Dream Team: The startup edition,’ acknowledged for his ‘management chops’ and for successfully taking public two companies, in two different industries. Most recently, the World Economic Forum recognized Hugh and Sensity as a Technology Pioneer.

Prior to Sensity, Hugh was chairman and CEO of Pacific Biosciences, a leading company in third-generation DNA sequencing. He founded Pacific Biosciences in 2004 with a team from Cornell University and piloted the company through its IPO in 2010 and commercialization in 2011. Before that, he was chairman, president, and CEO of ONI Systems, a high-speed optical telecommunications systems company he founded in 1998 and took public in 2000. Named the Fastest Growing Company in Silicon Valley in 2001, ONI was sold to Ciena in 2002; Hugh then served as a consultant to Ciena.

During his career, Hugh also was president and director of 3DO, an interactive gaming company; served as a CEO-in-residence at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; and ran desktop engineering for Apple Computer. Earlier, he founded Ridge Computers, designer of the world’s first commercial reduced instruction set computing (RISC) minicomputer.

He earned a BS in electrical engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick.

David L. Lucchino

Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
Frequency Therapeutics

David has played an integral role in launching, building and operating several successful companies in the life sciences. In 2014, he, along with Robert S. Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other co-founders, started Frequency Therapeutics with the goal of developing regenerative medicines based on discoveries related to activating progenitor cells.

Before Frequency, David was President and Chief Executive Officer of Entrega Bio, a PureTech Health-founded biotechnology company focused on oral drug delivery technology. Prior to that, David co-founded, also with Dr. Langer, Semprus BioSciences. At Semprus, David oversaw the development of the company’s lead medical product, which focused on surface modifications designed to reduce infection and clotting, and which received FDA and European CE marketing clearance. Semprus was acquired in 2012 by Teleflex, Inc. Prior to Semprus, David worked at the investment firm Polaris Partners.

David currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MassBio. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to the Commonwealth’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council. He also serves as a trustee of Mt. Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Medical School facility, a trustee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Life Science Cares.

David earned a B.A. from Denison University, an M.S. from the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.

Dana LaForge

Partner
Brera Capital Partners, LLC

Dana LaForge is a Partner at Brera Capital Partners, a private equity fund, and the Founder and Managing Partner of Colonnade Financial Group, a private equity services firm.

Prior to Brera and Colonnade, Dana was head of Financial Institutions Investment Banking and Chief of Staff of Banking and Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank and its predecessor companies. Earlier in his career, he was a bond trader and founded the Mortgage Finance Group.

Dana has served on numerous portfolio company boards and is the Chairman of GAB Robins NA. He was one of the earliest Directors of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation joining the Board in 1999 and helping guide the Foundation from start up through today serving as the organization’s only Chairman since being elected in 2003.

Dana earned a BS from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in New York City with his wife, Kathleen McCabe and their two daughters.

Rodney Gilmore

Corporate and Business Law
Doty Barlow Britt & Theiman LLP

Rodney Gilmore is an attorney in the California Bay Area and a longtime college football broadcaster.

Gilmore joined ESPN in August of 1996 as a college football analyst. He currently works on ESPN/ABC Saturday telecast and contributes to studio shows including College Football Live, Outside the Lines and SportsCenter. He previously served as an ESPN studio analyst and a contributor to ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine (out of print as of 2019).

Prior to joining ESPN, Gilmore worked as an analyst with Prime Sports Network in California (1993-95), covering Pac-10 football, along with SportsChannel Bay Area from 1991-93 and the Pacific Sports Network in 1990. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1994 for live sports coverage of Pac-10 football.

A 1982 Stanford University graduate with a degree in English, Gilmore was a defensive back under coaches Bill Walsh, Rod Dowhower, Paul Wiggin and George Seifert, and also played baseball for Stanford.

Following graduation from Stanford, he earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1986, and was admitted to the California State Bar the same year.  He began his law career in Los Angeles with the firm of Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP before returning to the Bay Area in 1988. He became a partner in the San Francisco business law firm Greene Radovsky Maloney & Share LLP in 1993. In 1997, he joined the Palo Alto, CA business law firm of Doty, Barlow, Britt & Thieman LLP. Rodney specializes in transactional law with an emphasis on business formation and planning, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial transactions. He also has extensive experience in commercial real estate matters, including sales and acquisitions, financings and leases.

Gilmore is a longtime volunteer for Stanford. He is a member and former officer of two entities sponsored by the Stanford Alumni Association. He previously served as chairman of the Stanford Athletic Board and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Stanford Alumni Association. He is also an active member of several Bar Associations and several local community organizations.

An Oakland, CA native, Gilmore is a member of the Oakland Babe Ruth Baseball Hall of Fame. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, Marie, the former Mayor of Alameda, CA, and has two adult children (Anthony and Nicole).

Thomas Conheeney

Retired President
SAC Capital

Tom was appointed President of SAC Capital in July 2008. He joined SAC in October 1999 as Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to joining SAC, Tom was President of Investment Management Services, Inc (“IMS”) from 1996 to 1999. He joined Moore Capital /IMS in 1993 and served as its Director of Trading Operations and then Vice President until IMS split off from Moore in 1995. Tom joined Moore Capital /IMS from Goldman Sachs Trust Company, where he was a Vice President with responsibilities for daily operations, technology, and client services. From 1986 to 1993, Tom was in the operations and equity divisions of Goldman, Sachs & Co., becoming Vice President in 1991.

He retired from SAC December 2014.

Karen E. Andrews

Karen E. Andrews

Senior Vice President and General Counsel
March of Dimes

Karen E. Andrews is currently SVP and General Counsel for the March of Dimes. Previously Karen was the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of BBDO Worldwide, Inc. where she was responsible for the management of the legal activities of over 150 individual operating units throughout the world.

Prior to joining BBDO Worldwide, Ms. Andrews was Associate General Counsel and Director of Television Business Affairs at Time Inc. Ms. Andrews began her career in law as a Litigation Associate at the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges where she specialized in Entertainment Litigation.

Ms. Andrews graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and earned her law degree, cum laude, from Temple School of Law.

Ms. Andrews is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

In 1998, Ms. Andrews co-founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation with Kathy Giusti.

Kenneth Anderson, MD

Director
Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Anderson graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School. He trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and completed hematology, medical oncology, and tumor immunology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and serves as Chief of the Division of Hematologic Neoplasia, Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, and Vice Chair of the Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

He received the Waldenstrom’s Award in 2003 for his translational research directed to the development of novel therapeutics targeting the myeloma cell in its microenvironment and is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the MMRF, Dr. Anderson serves as Chairman of the MMRF’s Scientific Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, and Chairman of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Multiple Myeloma Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee.

Lori Tauber Marcus

Founder
Courtyard Connections

Vice Chairman of the Board
MMRF

Lori Marcus is an independent board director and keynote speaker. She is currently serving in the role of Vice Chairman of the MMRF board. Lori is also the Chairman of the board of DNA Diagnostics Center, a growing leader in private DNA testing services, where she guides overall strategy and governance for corporate growth. Additionally, she is an independent Board Director for SHARE, a 40-year-old survivor-led organization based in New York City that provides support, information, and resources to women affected by breast and ovarian cancers. Lori also currently serves on the CMO advisory board for VentureBeat and is a board advisor to Carrington Farms.

Most recently, Ms. Marcus served as Interim Global Chief Marketing Officer for Peloton Interactive, Inc., a private equity and venture capital backed home fitness innovator. At Peloton, Lori drove business growth with strategy, brand marketing, communications, PR, social/digital media, consumer insights, data analytics, creative services, and community engagement. Prior, Lori was Chief Global Brand and Product Officer at Keurig Green Mountain. With more than 30 years of broad-based marketing and general management experience, Lori was responsible for global brand and product management for the Keurig system of innovative brewers and beverages. During her tenure at Keurig Green Mountain, she also led the company’s global marketing efforts and all aspects of e-commerce, digital/social media, marketing insights, and graphic design. Lori was also Chief Marketing Officer of The Children’s Place Retail Stores and SVP Marketing at PepsiCo.

Lori is a graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.