IMBCR in the News

Targeted Oncology:
Clinical Outcomes and Serum B-Cell Maturation Antigen Levels in a Real-World Unselected Population of Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients.

  • Reference: James R. Berenson, MD Berenson Cancer Center

American Society of Hematology:
Blood Journal: A Phase 1 Trial: Evaluating…Methylprednisolone: RE: ASH 2023 San Diego, CA December 9-11 Media Interviews Summary on: Phase 1 Study and others BLOOD is a very important medical journal.

MedPage Today:
James R. Berenson, MD: Can JAK Inhibition Help Overcome Lenalidomide Resistance in Myeloma? Early-phase experience with ruxolitinib suggests potential role in relapsed/refractory disease

So, we've been working on this class of drugs [JAK inhibitors] now for about 5 or 6 years, both in our research laboratory and clinically. And we've uncovered a series of mechanisms that suggests that these drugs are going to be very active, probably not only in myeloma, which we've now shown, but in lots of other cancers as well. And what we've uncovered is that these drugs actually enhance the immune response to the cancer, also help overcome resistance by blunting down proteins that lead to resistance in other drugs in myeloma like Revlimid, or lenalidomide.

So, we began work in the clinic early on, like 5 years ago, by using these drugs to treat highly, heavily previously treated patients with myeloma. And those patients were then given lenalidomide, ruxolitinib, and a steroid called methylprednisolone.

And what we learned is we had very high responsesopens in a new tab or window; about half the patients responded to some degree. And in that process, we also learned those patients were resistant to the lenalidomide. So, the rux [ruxolitinib] helped overcome that. So, then we decided to do the next step, we used a drug without lenalidomide. Let's see if it works without it. And it did, and we published that workopens in a new tab or window. But in that process, we decided: can we resurrect responses by adding the lenalidomide back to people who fail ruxolitinib and methylprednisolone? These are all pills. They're well tolerated. And we did, and we got very long remissions with simply the use of these pills.

How does it actually work to stimulate the immune system? Well, believe it or not, it knocks out the checkpoint inhibitor proteins, just like those drugs that are on TV every night like pembro [pembrolizumab] (Keytruda), all those drugs. This does the same thing, but it's just a pill. And by knocking out the checkpoint inhibitor proteins, the immune responses are enhanced. And we've shown that T-cell responses indeed are enhanced, in the test tube anyway. When you put ruxolitinib on the myeloma bone marrow, boy, the killing is markedly enhanced with T-cell effects from the enhancement from rux. It's really good.

And so, this is now leading us to use these drugs with all sorts of other drugs that have been used effectively to treat myeloma. We're trying to start a series of new trials, and we're about to start one in the next few weeks with a drug that's been used for myeloma called selinexor [Xpovio]. And hopefully we'll be able to start that soon.

We also have been able to identify a predictor for whether you're going to respond or not. It's serum B-cell maturation antigen, which is becoming more and more widely used to monitor myeloma, but it also could be used to predict whether you're going to respond to treatments. And it looks like it does that in the face of ruxolitinib in myeloma. So, we're excited, the future looks bright for these drugs in myeloma.

HemOnc Today:
Multiple Myeloma regimens significantly less effective in real-world treatment settings
PERSPECTIVE – James R. Berenson, MD.

Healio Hematology & Oncology News:
Interviewed Dr. Berenson on his perspective on Abstract 1 & Abstract 2.
Questions: Reaction to results — anything surprising? Most important take home message or clinical implication.

*HealthTree Foundation:
Has built many patient programs and over 8 integrated software platforms to help blood cancer patients learn more about their disease and better navigate their disease. Interviewed Dr. Berenson on phase 1 data and others.
  • Outcomes of Triple Class Refractory Multiple Myeloma Patients | James Berenson, MD | ASH 2023
  • Medical Writing Bias in Myeloma Clinical Research | James Berenson, MD | ASH 2023
  • Assessing Lenalidomide with Patients Progressing on JAK Inhibitors | James Berenson, MD | ASH 2023

VJHemOnc: (The Video Journal of Hematological Oncology) is an open-access video journal dedicated to providing trusted and up-to-date medical information to improve understanding of hematological cancers. Interviewed Dr. Berenson on phase 1 data and other ASH news.

  • Dr. Berenson’s interviews from ASH are now live and can be found here: Videos

OncologyTube: James R. Berenson, MD

Benefits of MRD Testing for the Treatment of Patients With Multiple Myeloma

More Interviews & Videos

Dinner with the Docs – James R. Berenson, MD – Southern California

  • First-Line Treatment Options & Side Effects – Video
  • Advances in Treating Relapsed Multiple Myeloma – Video
  • How Are Clinical Trials for Multiple Myeloma Structured? – Video

The New York Times:
What Scientists Know About the Risk of Breakthrough Covid Deaths

CBS News:
Myeloma may have made Colin Powell more vulnerable to dying of COVID-19 despite vaccination

Scientific America:
How Immunocompromised People Without Strong Vaccine Protection Are Coping with COVID

Myeloma Today:
Responses to mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines in MM Patients

BuzzFeed News:
Colin Powell: The First Black Secretary Of State, Has Died Of COVID Complications

Mandates Give Rise to Booming Black Market for Fake Vaccine Cards

Eat This, Not That!

TV Interviews

KTTV June 10, 2021

KNBC June 14, 2021

KCAL June 14, 2021

Drugs Used for Myeloma are Helping Fight COVID-19

Several anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat multiple myeloma are showing promising results treating Covid-19. Video


Is there a proven diet that can keep smoldering myeloma from progressing? What about fasting and taking supplements? What do the experts recommend? Video


Smoldering myeloma happens when changes in the blood are caught early in a blood test and is a precursor to multiple myeloma. What is it like living with smoldering myeloma and how aggressively should you be monitored and treated? Video


New York—In a presentation at the 2019 Lymphoma & Myeloma congress, James R. Berenson, MD, Medical and Scientific Director, Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research, West Hollywood, California, spoke about the use of serum B-cell maturation antigen (sBCMA) to predict outcomes in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Video