John Theurer Cancer Center Multiple Myeloma Expert Contributes to Development of International Treatment Guidelines

May 6, 2021

The International Multiple Myeloma Working Group published new guidelines in Lancet Oncology to manage relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable blood cancer that affects the plasma cells located in the bone marrow. David H. Vesole, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director of the Myeloma Division and Director of Myeloma Research at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, is part of the working group that developed the guidelines.

With seven different classes of approved therapeutic agents — including alkylators, steroids, proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, histone deacetylase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and selective inhibitors of nuclear export — which can be combined and used with or without high-dose therapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), it can be challenging for physicians to choose the optimal treatment strategy for patients with MM.

The guidelines recommend treatments for patients with relapsed and refractory disease who have received one previous line of therapy, as well as those who have received two or more previous lines of therapy. They also address:

  • The treatment of patients with and without lenalidomide refractory disease;
  • Patients who are progressing on frontline daratumumab-based combinations; and
  • The role of salvage ASCT.

Further, the guidelines integrate the issue of drug access in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, making them useful for international physicians.

“To develop the guidelines, the working group went over studies of approved drugs and phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials of drugs that are coming down the pike,” said Dr. Vesole. “The guidelines also reflect that some drugs are not available in certain parts of the world and take into consideration the limitation of available agents and provide alternative treatment options.”

Dr. Vesole, who has been a part of the working group for 20 years, said the development of the guidelines was an international effort that represents the evolution of MM treatments.

“As one of the leading MM treatment centers in the country, John Theurer Cancer Center is proud to contribute scientifically to the development of the guidelines,” said Dr. Vesole. “Our myeloma division has also been involved in many of the clinical trials that have advanced MM care.”

“These guidelines are evidence of the collaboration among national and international colleagues to develop new, life-saving therapies and best practices for MM care,” said Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., Physician-in-Chief of Hackensack Meridian Health Oncology.

“John Theurer Cancer Center experts are world leaders in MM treatment and are part of an active, pioneering scientific community,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Our team is committed to bringing the latest MM treatment options to John Theurer Cancer Center patients and working with colleagues in the U.S. and abroad to expand treatment options in other parts of the world.”

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, one of just 16 NCI-approved cancer research consortia based at the nation’s most prestigious institutions. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit