Blood cancers

Immunotherapy the hot topic at National Myeloma Workshop


The immunology, microenvironment and genetics of myeloma will be the focus of presentations and discussion at the 3rd biennial National Myeloma Workshop.

The interactive, live streamed event this Saturday (5 September) will feature some of the world’s leading myeloma experts, both local and international.

They include Professor Joseph Mikhael (City of Hope Cancer Centre, US) who will give the Laurence Catley Memorial lecture and Professor Andrew Spencer (Alfred Hospital) who will present an update from the Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry.

Other key speakers on the program include:

  • Professor Ola Landgren – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, US
  • Professor Gareth Morgan – NYU Langone, US
  • Professor Irene Ghobrial – Dana Faber Cancer Institute, US
  • Professor Wendy Erber – University of Western Australia
  • Professor Miles Prince – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre/Epworth Healthcare, Victoria

Workshop chair, Associate Professor Simon Harrison, told the limbic the meeting was an opportunity for the myeloma community – doctors, scientists and other members of the team – to discuss the latest research and clinical updates.

“The hot topic is immune based therapies, CAR T-cells and bi-specific antibodies and there are newer versions of those therapies targeting non-T cells,” he said.

“We are not too far behind internationally if you think about what’s approved in the UK and Europe. Really the only jurisdiction that has got these drugs approved already is the US and only a fraction of their population can access them.”

Associate Professor Harrison said CAR T-cells and bispecific antibodies were definitely on the cusp of routine care.

“We will definitely be using them; it’s just where in the algorithm that is the interesting question. We are seeing some amazing responses to heavily pre-treated patients with some of these new techniques and molecules.”

“We are quite good at keeping myeloma patients alive, [but] it just keeps coming back. Hopefully these immune based therapies might lead people into deeper and deeper remission so that they have fewer lines of therapy.”

The Workshop includes optional, smaller group breakout sessions, oral abstracts from young investigators and an online poster session.

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