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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said today they will partner to identify markers for a precursor disease to multiple myeloma, high-risk smoldering myeloma (SMM), and develop new treatment strategies designed to delay or prevent progression to active multiple myeloma.

MMRF and Dana-Farber have launched a research collaboration, through which 500 SMM patients enrolled in Dana-Farber’s PROMISE study (NCT03689595) or PCROWD study (NCT02269592) will be able to join the MMRF’s CureCloud study (NCT03657251) and donate their blood samples and medical records.

PCROWD and PROMISE actively screen for and study patients with myeloma precursor diseases, with the goal of helping define how disease progression occurs and develop therapies to prevent it. CureCloud is a direct-to-patient research initiative designed to create a hub of genomic and clinical data in myeloma that includes a first-of-its-kind in-home genomic test using a liquid biopsy, producing results that are returned directly to patients and their physicians.

Participating patients will have their myeloma DNA sequenced in the CureCloud’s MM-70 genomic sequencing test and share data from their electronic health records. All patient data will be de-identified and securely stored in the CureCloud database.

“Recent research efforts driven by the MMRF and our partners have identified potential genomic and immune markers that may drive myeloma risk and progression,” said Daniel Auclair, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the MMRF. “This collaboration with Dana-Farber will accelerate and enhance our knowledge of risk factors, allowing us to more precisely identify those patients at higher risk of progression to active disease, and laying the groundwork for future transformative, and possibly curative, clinical trials.”

Auclair plans to present data at the virtual American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting from the first 163 patients fully enrolled into CureCloud from which results will be presented from the MM-70 liquid biopsy assay, a hybrid selection panel was developed that detects somatic variants present in a patient’s circulating-free DNA (cfDNA) in 70 commonly altered MM and Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP) genes.

“We have developed a robust and very sensitive clinical-grade next-gen liquid biopsy sequencing platform allowing for minimally invasive monitoring of MM [multiple myeloma]  disease genomics that can be used to complement other more classical approaches and to help support our Direct-To-Patient Initiatives,” Auclair and colleagues concluded in an abstract of their planned presentation. Especially in this post-COVID19 era, such liquid biopsy-based approaches that avoid clinic visits for the patients and can be performed through at-home mobile phlebotomy are emerging as important new options.”

The data from MM-70 will be linked with each patient’s whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing data, circulating tumor cell data, and single-cell RNA sequencing data from both tumor and immune cells, forming what MMRF and Dana-Farber said would be the most complete picture of SMM ever assembled.

“This revolutionary collaboration with the MMRF will enable us to build the most comprehensive data set for smoldering multiple myeloma,” said Irene Ghobrial, MD, Director of the Clinical Investigator Research Program at Dana-Farber and a Principal Investigator of the PROMISE and PCROWD studies. “Additionally, patients who participate will receive their genomic test results, which may be helpful in determining their risk of progression to active myeloma and identifying future clinical trials.”

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