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PRESS RELEASE: HARMONY researchers propose revision of staging system for Multiple Myeloma

June 23, 2022 15:48 - x 00, 0 - 00:00

MM, Myeloma

Press Release, The Hague, 23 June 2022

HARMONY researchers propose revision of staging system for Multiple Myeloma (MM)

An improved staging system may assist oncologists in determining the prognosis of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) more precisely. Oncologists may use the improved system to identify high-risk patients with greater reliability and to make better-informed treatment choices in the future.

Clinical outcomes vary greatly for patients with NDMM, with survival ranging from a few months to more than a decade. At present, oncologists use the ‘Revised International Staging system’ (R-ISS) to classify the prognosis of these patients as good, intermediate, or poor. The R-ISS is based on widely available biomarkers. Approximately 62% of NDMM patients are at intermediate risk according to the R-ISS.

HARMONY Partner Mattia D'Agostino of University of Turin: “Investigating data from 10,843 patients with NDMM, we discovered that patients who are currently classified as ‘intermediate-risk patients’ constitute a quite diverse group with varying risk of progression or death. In our paper in JCO, we propose a second revision of the International Staging System(R2-ISS) to improve the risk estimation in this group.”

D’Agostino and colleagues studied anonymized data from 10,843 patients with NDMM collected via the European Myeloma Network within the HARMONY project. They developed and validated the R2-ISS by determining the additive value of single risk features to predict progression-free survival and overall survival. The R2-ISS discerns four risk groups: low (19.2% of patients), low-intermediate (30.8%), intermediate-high (41.2%), and high (8.8%). This classification is based on the original ISS classification as well as several additional biomarkers, including chromosome 1q gain/amplification, which was recently discovered as a poor prognostic factor.

HARMONY Partner Mario Boccadoro of University of Turin: “Adding chromosome 1q gain (three copies of 1q) or amplification (≥ four copies of 1q) to the existing staging system improves the risk stratification in patients with NDMM, especially in the large group of patients that are currently classified as intermediate-risk.”

HARMONY Partner Pieter Sonneveld of Erasmus MC: “The R2-ISS is a simple prognostic staging system allowing a better stratification of patients with intermediate-risk NDMM. The additive nature of this score fosters its future implementation with new prognostic variables.

EMN is a HARMONY Partner and coordinates an important MM research project within HARMONY, involving many European partners. The cooperation among several groups from different countries groups under the EMN umbrella is the key for the success of this project.

Useful links

#bigdataforbloodcancer: Accelerating Better and Faster Treatment for Patients with Hematologic Malignancies.

The HARMONY Alliance (HARMONY and HARMONY PLUS) is a public-private European Network of Excellence for Big Data in Hematology. Our mission is to unlock and spread valuable knowledge on hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) among a large number of stakeholders, with the goal to harness and mine Big Data to speed up the development of improved treatments for patients and more effective treatment strategies.

Contact: Ellen de Waal, HARMONY Communications Lead: e.dewaal@ehaweb.org

www.harmony-alliance.eu | www.bigdataforbloodcancer.eu | @HARMONYNetEU

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