Before we move on, I wanted to share some of Dr. Ravi Vij’s thoughts about UAMS—the University of Arkansas Medical Center. Myeloma docs and researchers there have been developing an aggressive form of anti-myeloma treatment called Total Therapy (TT).
Arkansas myeloma specialist, Dr. Barlogie, and other UAMS myeloma researchers are best known for helping newly diagnosed, low risk multiple myeloma patients achieve deep, long remissions by using lots of drug combinations before and after tandem stem cell transplants. But UAMS docs have been working on a lot more than that for the past decade, including extensive research into how certain genes and chromosomes affect a patients likely treatment outcomes. I attended a presentation by Dr. Barlogie at ASCO dedicated to this very topic.
Dr. Vij shared with me how he felt UAMS gene expression profiles were among the best ways to identify high risk myeloma. He went on to add UAMS is one of the premier myeloma research facilities in the country—stressing the biology of the disease. Dr. Vij concluded by mentioning how UAMS was starting to split their TT study groups into two parts:
TT 4 is comprised of low risk subjects, while TT 5 is devoted to more difficult, high risk cases, according to Dr. Vij.
I was happy to hear UAMS is spending so much research capital working with high risk patients. I believe low risk, newly diagnosed myeloma patients should fair well using combinations of existing and soon to be available novel therapy agents—whether they use an aggressive, Total Therapy approach or not. It’s the more difficult, high risk patients who need the most help.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat