Clinical Trials for Multiple Myeloma

A clinical trial is a research study designed to evaluate a promising new medical treatment. It may involve a new way of preventing, diagnosing and/or treating cancer. Up to half of all Roswell Park patients are eligible to enroll in a clinical trial. Clinical trials may focus on:

  • New ways of preventing cancer with drugs, diet and/or exercise
  • New ways to better diagnose cancer
  • New drugs to treat cancer
  • New ways to use existing treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy
  • New ways to improve quality of life for patients with cancer

For example:

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy

As part of a clinical trial, and in partnership with Philip McCarthy, MD, Director of Roswell Park’s BMT Center and Kelvin Lee, MD, Chair of Immunology, the Myeloma team offers CAR T- cell therapy for eligible patients with advanced multiple myeloma. In this treatment, the patient’s own T cells — part of the immune system — are collected, “re-engineered” to attack the myeloma cells, and then given back to the patient. This treatment option is very new and can be provided by authorized centers only. A second clinical trial with a similar concept is expected to open soon.

Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine

SurVaxM, a therapeutic cancer vaccine, is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial as a treatment for patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The vaccine was developed at Roswell Park by Robert Fenstermaker, MD, and Michael Ciesielski, PhD. Kelvin Lee, MD, Chair of Immunology, is the Principal Investigator of the clinical trial.

When the information gained from a clinical trial shows that the treatment being studied is more effective than standard treatments, the new treatment eventually becomes the new standard of care. Every treatment that is now FDA-approved began as a treatment being studied in a clinical trial.

Search for multiple myeloma clinical trials now underway at Roswell Park.

Should I participate in a clinical trial? (Learn more about clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute.)