Myeloma research is evolving quickly, so what should patients ask their doctor to stay up to date? Dr. Timothy Schmidt, a myeloma specialist, shares advice.
Dr. Timothy Schmidt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. More about Dr. Schmidt.
Dr. Timothy Schmidt:
I think that in terms of new and developing options, patients should be asking their healthcare provider, their oncologist if they have experience using some of these newer drugs, specifically, the bispecific antibodies and CAR T-cell therapies.
A lot of centers are starting to use these, particularly academic centers and some larger community centers as well. But not everywhere has experience using these. And so, asking your provider if it’s something that they would be a candidate for, particularly if the current treatment that patients are on is not working. And if your provider is not necessarily familiar with them, do they know somebody who is.
And could you go at least for a discussion to talk to a myeloma specialist about whether these medications are right for you or whether there’s a clinical trial that they might be a candidate for, because what we’ve learned is that earlier implementation of some of these really effective therapies can really be a big deal for patients with myeloma.
Patients can learn more about clinical trials from a variety of different outlets. I think the first place to start is with your local provider, your oncologist, asking that person if there is a clinical trial available. Most likely, the local provider is going to be able to point the patient in the right direction or at least let them know if something is going to be feasible for them. After that, often it involves reaching out to a local center, an academic center and getting a referral to somebody to see what is available at that site.
But there are also a variety of websites that can be used to search for clinical trials if there are particular patients who are very interested in specific therapies, CAR T, bispecifics, or others that you can look around and try to find places that would be best for them.