Many myeloma patients are curious whether or not minimal residual disease testing can be done on blood samples, especially considering that the current standard test usually involves an uncomfortable bone marrow biopsy.
Pathology in Practice shares, "There is an urgent need for high-sensitivity MRD testing using blood to track disease burden and treatment efficacy without the limitations of current bone marrow-based [biopsies]."
Our myeloma community couldn't agree more. A blood-based test could be a game-changer for many patients.
Michelle Peterson, a myeloma patient shares, "[A blood-based test] would be amazing. Seriously life-changing. I get so anxious the night before [my bone marrow biopsy] that I can't sleep."
Luckily, companies like Sebia, a multiple myeloma diagnostics and monitoring company, are doing their part to make this happen.
They have officially launched their new serum-based Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) test for monitoring multiple myeloma, called M-inSight. This laboratory-developed test is being offered by Corgenix (a licensed clinical laboratory).
M-inSight is a personalized, targeted mass spectrometry (blood-based) test. It detects with outstanding sensitivity the monoclonal protein (M-protein) secreted by the patient's tumor cells in the serum (an amber-colored, protein-rich liquid that separates out when blood changes to a solid or semi-solid state).
In fact, Dr. Faith Davies, when teaching about mass spectrometry with the nonsecretory myeloma community, shared that many times nonsecretory patients might actually have measurable disease, but disease that is currently undetectable with the level of sensitivity that our current blood tests are capable of.
This type of test can be truly ground-breaking in myeloma monitoring, drug approval, treatment decisions, and patient care.
For those of you unfamiliar with MRD testing, MRD (or minimal residual disease) describes the lowest level of myeloma cells that remain in the bone marrow after treatment that cannot be detected with standard blood tests and eventually lead to relapse.
These results help physicians understand just how effective the myeloma treatment was in eradicating the cancerous plasma cells from the patient's body.
Although there's debate amongst doctors on how to currently use MRD results (they can be positive and negative depending on any persisting myeloma cells), there is a general consensus that more research needs to be done in the field and more effective, standardized tools are needed to further that research. M-inSight could be one of those tools that helps the myeloma expert field gain a better understanding of minimal residual disease.
M-inSight was developed in partnership with Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, both in the Netherlands.
Although M-inSight is not yet covered by private health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid, you do have the option of discussing this test with your treating physician. Learn more at their website: M-inSight Website
For more information on Minimal Residual Disease, check out the following resources:
about the author
Audrey is the Editor for the HealthTree Foundation for Multiple Myeloma. She originally joined the HealthTree Foundation in 2020 as the Myeloma Community Program Director. While not knowing much about myeloma initially, she worked hard to educate herself, empathize and learn from others' experiences. She loves this job. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys iced chais from Dutch Bros. She also loves spending time with her supportive husband and energetic three-year-old.
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