Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month: A Commitment to Being Ambitious for Patients (Guest blog)

March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, but GSK is committed to supporting the multiple myeloma community year-round. Being ambitious for patients is more than a mantra for us – it’s our guiding principle because while we’ve made significant progress for patients and their loved ones, more still needs to be done.

Thirty years ago, the five-year survival rate for the blood cancer, multiple myeloma, was only 29%1. Despite significant advances since then – the survival rate has nearly doubled thanks to new treatment options – multiple myeloma is still one of the most challenging blood cancers and remains incurable.

At GSK, we have a robust R&D programme in multiple myeloma, which has the potential to bring next generation therapies to patients. By developing treatments that work differently, we’re providing patients with novel ways to treat this cancer and potentially improving their outcomes. But we can’t just stop research once these therapies are approved. We must investigate which are the most promising potential treatment sequences, and how different therapies can best be combined with other multiple myeloma treatments. We are seeing initial data from some of this research, and it’s very exciting to learn how we can optimise the use of these new therapies. In addition, we’re conducting various real-world evidence studies to help us understand unmet patient needs, and how we can best address them.

We’re focused on driving research as a company and we value expertise and perspectives from others as big scientific advancements cannot happen in isolation. We frequently collaborate with academia and industry to get ahead of multiple myeloma to extend survival rates and improve quality of life for patients around the world. For example, we are a core collaborator on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s CureCloud research initiative to build the first, largest, and most comprehensive data hub in multiple myeloma. We’re also working with the International Myeloma Foundation’s International Independent Team for Endpoint Approval of Multiple Myeloma (i2TEAMM) initiative to validate the research and use of surrogate endpoints, such as minimal residual disease, in clinical trials evaluating potential treatment options. We also support a multitude of investigator-initiated trials all around the world trying to find answers to many different questions. The goal of these efforts is to bring better treatment options to patients sooner.

Even with all of this robust work, we know cancer is complex and that patients struggle with access to care, emotional distress and disparities in outcomes. To tackle these problems, we recently launched Target the Future, an international, multi-year initiative dedicated to advancing innovation and addressing key needs in the multiple myeloma community. A key component of the programme is the Think Tank Challenge to facilitate solutions to help create a better future for patients, their caregivers and loved ones. We’re looking forward to sharing information regarding the first winner of the Challenge in the coming months.

With all of these efforts in place and the sense of purpose my GSK colleagues and I share, I’m optimistic we can change the trajectory of multiple myeloma. We won't settle for anything less. 


  1. Brenner H. Blood. 2008.

Dr. Ali Cimen

Dr. Ali Cimen works in GSK as the VP, Head of Haematology, Breast and Gynaecological Oncology within Global Medical...
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