OREANDA-NEWS. June 15, 2012. The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced an alliance with US Oncology Research to participate in the landmark CoMMpass(SM) (Relating Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile) study sponsored by the MMRF. Seventeen US Oncology Research affiliated clinical sites will participate, reported the press-centre of McKesson Corporation.

The first of its kind in multiple myeloma, the MMRF CoMMpass study will follow 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients over a five-year period to understand the molecular and genetic changes underpinning the evolution of the disease. Sequential tissue sampling during the study will help to identify how a patient’s molecular profile may affect his or her clinical progression and individual response to treatment, with the goal of facilitating future clinical trials and personalized treatment strategies based on the resulting information database.

The MMRF CoMMpass study is at the center of the MMRF’s efforts to improve myeloma treatments and patient outcomes through personalized medicine, by gleaning critical information that will enable existing treatments to be tailored to specific patients based on their markers, and to identify and move forward new targeted treatments with research and industry collaborators.

"Innovation of this magnitude requires a bold, ambitious, and highly collaborative approach to science. As a trusted third party, the MMRF alone was able to bring together a phenomenal team of academic institutions and community cancer centers nationwide to really drive the CoMMpass study forward,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, and a multiple myeloma patient. “We look forward to working together with US Oncology Research to deepen our understanding of multiple myeloma as the critical first step in improving patient care.”

The 17 US Oncology Research affiliated sites participating in the CoMMpass study include: Arizona Oncology ; Broome Oncology in N.Y.; Cancer Care Centers of South Texas; Cancer Care Centers of South Texas-HOAST; Cancer Care Northwest in Wash.; Cancer Center of Kansas; Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada; Illinois Cancer Specialists; Compass Oncology in Wash.; Ocala Oncology in Fla.; Rockwood Clinic in Wash.; Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colo.; Texas Oncology - Fort Worth; Texas Oncology - Garland; Texas Oncology - Plano East; Texas Oncology - Tyler; and Texas Oncology - Waco. These join 22 additional centers that are currently enrolling patients in the study.

“We are excited to be involved in this ground-breaking study to better understand how genomic heterogeneity affects multiple myeloma disease progression and treatment response. It is an ambitious and complex undertaking, and the MMRF is uniquely positioned to lead this effort based on its impressive track record of building collaborative models to accelerate drug discovery and development,” said Steve Jones, MD, medical director, US Oncology Research. “We look forward to the results that the MMRF CoMMpass study database will uncover, which we believe will yield a positive impact on multiple myeloma and potentially other cancer patients as we apply the results to enable better patient care.”

Recently, the MMRF presented the key CoMMpass study design information at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. To learn more about the CoMMpass study, visit www.themmrf.org/research-programs/commpass-study/.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2012, more than 21,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over USD 190 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four star rating for nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.

About US Oncology Research
Supported by McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network, US Oncology Research draws from a network of experienced investigators and dedicated clinical staff who specialize in Phase I through Phase IV oncology clinical trials. US Oncology Research serves more than 85 practices in more than 245 locations managing more than 200 active trials at any given time. Physicians in the research network have enrolled more than 52,000 patients in over 1,200 trials since inception in 1992 and have contributed to the development of 43 cancer therapies approved by the FDA. For more information call (800) 482-6700, option 4 or visit www.usoncology.com/oncologists.