Jeffrey Wolf, MD: Optimizing Multiple Myeloma Assessment

A discussion on what the future of monitoring the rare disease may entail, and how COVID-19 interrupted in-person assessment earlier this year.

The modes of multiple myeloma assessment and screening has progressed over decades in near-alignment with the advancement of therapy for the rare disease.

Though neither observation nor treatment for patients with multiple myeloma have yet been optimized, new data presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2020 Annual Meeting this weekend showed a more refined method of treatment decision-making.

New data presented by international investigators showed measurable residual disease (MRD) assessment to inform treatment options is linked to improved management of multiple myeloma.

In the continued segment of an interview with HCPLive during ASH 2020, study author Jeffrey Wolf, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discussed how MRD is not absolutely refined itself.

“It remains to be proven. I think it can and will be proven,” Wolf said. “It has drawbacks, in the sense that when you put a needle in the right pelvis, you may get a different reading than in the left pelvis.”

Wolf also discussed the means of advancing myeloma assessment via marrow-sensitive assays, as well as peripheral blood-reading tests.

He additionally touched on continued myeloma monitoring during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a matter which was better managed in his care team’s region of San Francisco due to mass adherence to masking and social distancing mandates.

Though his facility had paused in-person myeloma care for over a month, they were able to safely resume direct care sooner than they anticipated.

“We really didn’t miss much of a beat there, but I think it was maybe just San Francisco.”