The 61st American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting (ASH) took place on 7-10 December in Orlando, Florida. It was attended by over 30,000 scientists and clinicians from around the world and covered around 6,000 topics with over 700 myeloma abstracts. Here are some of our highlights from this year’s meeting.

Myeloma XI

There were five abstracts sharing results from Myeloma XI. Three of the abstracts provided updated analyses on the safety and efficacy of lenalidomide maintenance and looked at whether lenalidomide maintenance overcame risk status, affected the aggressiveness of relapse or increased the secondary primary malignancies rate. Two of the abstracts presented results evaluating the impact of risk status and gender on myeloma patient outcomes.

This UK trial is the largest trial ever conducted in myeloma and recruited over 4,000 patients across 110 NHS hospitals. It looked at the benefits of different combinations and types of treatment for both transplant eligible and non-transplant eligible newly diagnosed myeloma patients.

These results further support the benefit of lenalidomide maintenance and highlight the need for improved treatment approaches for high-risk patients.


Initial results from the Phase II Cardamon trial were presented by Kwee Yong from University College London. The trial has assessed the use of carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (KCd) as induction treatment for transplant eligible newly diagnosed myeloma patients. The data suggest KCd is an effective induction regimen and has equivalent MRD negative rates in adverse and standard-risk disease. The SAE profile is in keeping with published safety data with carfilzomib.

MUK nine

Martin Kaiser from The Institute of Cancer Research, London presented results from MUK nine. The trial finished recruitment eight months ahead of schedule and demonstrated that multi-centre trials using genetic screening to group patients to determine treatment are feasible. It first UK-wide trial using genetic screening to identify high-risk myeloma patients. Patients who met the criteria were able to receive more intensive treatment for their myeloma.


Updated overall survival (OS) data from the Phase III Alycone trial were presented by Maria-Victoria Mateos from the University Hospital of Salamanca. The trial compared daratumumab (Darzalex®), bortezomib (Velcade®), melphalan, and prednisone (D-VMP) to bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) for the treatment of newly diagnosed, transplant-ineligible myeloma patients. The trial showed that the addition of daratumumab to VMP increased the rate of MRD negativity and improved OS in patients with a 40 % reduction in the risk of death compared to VMP alone.