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Center for Prevention of Progression Research

  • Center for Prevention of Progression (CPOP) team members

  • Dana-Farber is a leader in the research of precursor hematologic conditions. Our team is committed to early detection and intervention to prevent precursor conditions from progressing to incurable blood cancers. Our center offers patients a range of clinical trials, including screening, treatment, and non-therapeutic trials that will help us to better understand and care for patients with precursor hematologic conditions.

    See our current clinical trials below:

    Screening Trials

    PROMISE Study

    PROMISE is a screening study for individuals at high-risk of precursor conditions of multiple myeloma, such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). The goal of this study is to establish a screening method for high-risk individuals and to gather data that helps us understand why some patients progress to myeloma and others do not. Eligibility includes individuals who either have first-degree family members with blood cancers and/or African Americans.

    Therapeutic Trials

    For Low-Risk Plasma Cell Disorders

    Reform: This study is for patients with high-risk MGUS and low-risk SMM and evaluates the role of metformin in precursor plasma cell disorders. This randomized, placebo control trial aims for stabilization of disease markers to help reduce risk of progression to MM.

    For High-Risk Plasma Cell Disorders

    Immuno-PRISM: This phase 2 randomized platform study is evaluating the effectiveness of various novel immunotherapy-based treatments in preventing disease progression in patients with high-risk SMM. The highly effective bispecific antibody targeting BCMA, teclistamab, is being to standard therapy of lenalidomide and dexamethasone.

    ITACHA: This phase 3 randomized study evaluates isatuximab in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone compared to lenalidomide and dexamethasone in high-risk SMM.

    B-PRISM (Precision Intervention Smoldering Myeloma): This study utilizes a highly effective combination strategy of daratumumab, bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone in high-risk SMM. Our goal is to achieve high rates of minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity in patients with high-risk SMM.

    Non-Therapeutic Trials

    PCROWD Study

    PCROWD is an ongoing research study that collects tissue samples from patients with precursor hematologic conditions. Our goal is to understand the cellular changes associated with disease progression so that we can develop targeted therapies to prevent progression to cancer. The study has helped identify mutations associated with disease progression. Patients with any precursor blood cancer condition are eligible to participate in the PCROWD study.

    IMPACT Study

    The IMPACT study aims to identify the presence and development of COVID-19 in individuals with precursor hematologic conditions compared to healthy populations in order to understand the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the immune system. Participants will be screened for SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity and will then be followed and undergo additional blood collection and testing for one year.

    Research Highlights

    Our team was the first to discover CHIP and its link to blood cancers and cardiovascular disease, and has been leading several efforts to understand the genomic, genetic, and epigenetic factors that influence disease progression for other precursor conditions. We offer several clinical trials of early therapeutic intervention to prevent progression and cure the disease in its early state.

    Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP)

    Benjamin Ebert, MD, PhD, Chair of Medical Oncology, made the landmark discovery identifying clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), a precursor condition that is detectable in over 10 percent of people over age 70, and was the first to describe the increased risk of blood cancers and cardiovascular disease in people with CHIP.
    Age-related clonal hematopoiesis linked to adverse outcomes, New England Journal of Medicine, 2014 November 26
    Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential and its distinction from myelodysplastic syndromes, Blood, 2015

    MGUS, MGIP

    Irene Ghobrial, MD, led the first effort to screen individuals at high risk of developing myeloma, including those with family members who have multiple myeloma or self-identify as Black, for the precursor conditions MGUS and smoldering myeloma. This team defined a new clinical entity, MGIP, defined by the presence of a low level of M-protein. All screen-detected monoclonal gammopathies were associated with increased mortality and increased prevalence of comorbidities including myocardial infarction, certain blood cancers, and some autoimmune disorders.
    Prevalence of monoclonal gammopathies and clinical outcomes in a high-risk US population screened by mass spectrometry: a multicentre cohort study, The Lancet Haematology, 01 May 2022

    Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

    Nikhil Munshi, MD, and his colleagues have identified the genomic changes that occur as smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) advances to myeloma. Their findings lay the groundwork for tests that can identify patients whose SMM is likely to progress rapidly to myeloma, and who could benefit from prompt treatment.

    Irene Ghobrial, MD, Mark Bustoros, MD, and others have led research of the molecular characterization of precursor malignant cells to improve our understanding of the biological development of myeloma, as well as risk stratification and prognosis for patients.
    Genetic subtypes of smoldering multiple myeloma are associated with distinct pathogenic phenotypes and clinical outcomes, Nature Communications, 15 June 2022

    A paper by Yoshinobu Konishi and Irene Ghobrial, MD, explores the impact of SMM on the immune system by analyzing patients' antibody responses to COVID-19 infection and vaccination. The team found that SMM patients had less robust responses to vaccination than healthy individuals, which aligns with findings in myeloma patients.
    Attenuated response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in patients with asymptomatic precursor stages of multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, Cancer Cell, 10 December 2021

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  • Learn more about the PROMISE Study, and hear from experts and participants.