In 2021, world-renowned multiple myeloma researcher C. Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D., spearheaded multiple impactful studies aimed at proving that multiple myeloma is a curable cancer.
Dr. Landgren, Paul J. DiMare Endowed Chair in Immunotherapy and chief of the Myeloma Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, led a study published in Nature Communications building on groundbreaking work he did years prior, precursors in all patients with multiple myeloma. Later he found that many people have the precursors but very few go onto develop the cancer.
The new research, funded by a $2 million grant from The Tow Foundation, provides evidence that whole-genome sequencing recognizes the two biologically and clinically distinct myeloma precursor entities as progressive or stable.
“If we can identify someone who is genetically preprogrammed to develop the cancer before the patient gets sick, that could set the stage for curative intent,” said Dr. Landgren, co-leader of the Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapeutics Programs at Sylvester and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Dr. Landgren also is working on treating high-risk disease. In the MANHATTAN study, published in JAMA Oncology, Dr. Landgren and others found that use of immunotherapy with combination therapy achieved an unprecedented 71% minimal residual disease rate in high-risk multiple myeloma. A study published in The Lancet Hematology showed duration of response.
“In 2021, we also proved that we could achieve amazing results with a four-drug combination and sustain them in a high proportion of multiple myeloma patients,” he said.