By Jennifer Ahlstrom | Posted - Mar 8th, 2019





Being Minimal Residual Disease Negative Before or After Transplant Means Better Overall Survival for Myeloma Patients

Patients who are minimal residual disease negative (or have no detectable myeloma) before or after their stem cell transplant have better progression free survival than patients with detectable disease, according to a recent study. 

Theresa Hahn, PhD, from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York presented the results at the recent Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (TCT) 2019 meeting and won "Best Abstract Award" for her paper.

The study looked at levels of residual disease using the flow cytometry-based MRD assessement test in a phase 3 trial that included 430 patients. 

Results showed that patients who were MRD negative before their transplant, at the start of their maintenance and after one year had much better progression free survival than those who had detectable disease. The study could not show that the type of maintenance therapy used after transplant had any impact on progression free or overall survival. They also found that about 1 in 5 patients who showed no evidence of residual disease at one year still went on to experience disease progression.

Dr. Hahn stated:  

“Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease, but we have more and better treatment options than ever before. What’s most exciting about this approach is that it may help us figure out sooner which patients may benefit from a change in their treatment regimen.”

A review of minimal residual disease (MRD) status seems appropriate for patients before and after transplant and may help patients and doctors make better, smarter treatment choices.  

Jennifer Ahlstrom
About the Author

Jennifer Ahlstrom - Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.


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