Dr. Nooka shares some surprising statistics about the number of people living with smoldering myeloma, that it could be as large as 400,000 whereas only 25,000 new myeloma cases are diagnosed per year. He notes that risk-stratifying smoldering myeloma patients is key to finding the best outcomes. He describes how he diagnoses and approaches treatment for a smoldering myeloma patient and shares that today's risk stratification in smoldering myeloma is based today on three key clinical features and not on genetic features. Dr. Nooka describes a new vaccine by OncoPep now being used in early clinical trials with lenalidomide for smoldering myeloma patients. The vaccine targets three proteins including CD138, CS1 and XBP1 and participants have to be tested as HLA2 positive. He explains the difference between preventative vaccines and treatment vaccines and suggests that the tumor burden has to be low in order for them to work. He notes that using lenalidomide in addition to the vaccine appears to boost the immune system and give the vaccine greater impact. The Myeloma Crowd Radio Show with Dr. Nooka
Ajay Kumar Nooka, MD, MPH, FACP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and serves as medical director of the Winship Data and Technology Applications Shared Resource at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. An Emory Healthcare network physician since 2011, Dr. Nooka is a board certified hematologist specializing in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. He is a clinical member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Winship Cancer Institute. He serves on the steering committee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. Dr. Nooka attended Medical School at the Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam, India. He earned his Master's in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He then went on to complete his residency at Canton Medical Education Foundation in Canton, Ohio. He did his fellowship at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
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 the HealthTree Foundation.
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