High-risk myeloma patients have unsatisfactory outcomes with current treatments and are in urgent need of improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. We have recently validated specific markers predicting high-risk disease in newly diagnosed MM (NDMM), in particular double-hit with presence of ≥2 consensus high-risk markers t(4;14), t(14;16), t(14;20), del(1p), gain(1q), del(17p) (Shah V, et al., Leukemia 2018) and diagnostic GEP SKY92 high risk signature (Sherborne A, et al., IMW 2017). Diagnostic tests for these markers were implemented in the UK multi-center OPTIMUM: MUK9 trial to prospectively stratify therapy for high-risk NDMM.

Trial design

OPTIMUM: MUK9 is a phase 2 trial for transplant eligible NDMM, consisting of two inter-related protocols: a molecular screening protocol (MUK9A) and an interventional trial (MUK9B) for high-risk MM identified in MUK9A. Patients with suspected or confirmed MM fit for intensive therapy enrolled in MUK9A have central molecular profiling at ICR, London, of CD138-selected BM MM cells for translocations, copy number aberrations (qRT-PCR; MLPA P425, MRC Holland) and SKY92 signature status (MMprofiler; SkylineDx). If clinically indicated SOC therapy (VTD, max. 2 cycles) can be given whilst central results are generated. Patients found to have high-risk MM by double-hit and/or SKY92 are offered enrolment into MUK9B. All other patients receive SOC (VTD, HD-MEL+ASCT) for which clinical data is collected. Patients diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia (PCL) can be enrolled directly in MUK9B. MUK9B treatment consists of quintuplet daratumumab, cyclophosphamide, bortezomib, lenalidomide, dexamethasone (Dara-CVRd) induction (up to 6 cycles), bortezomib-augmented single HD-MEL+ASCT, Dara-VRd consolidation 1 (6 cycles), Dara-VR consolidation 2 (12 cycles) and Dara-R maintenance (until PD). Dose adjustments are permitted in order to maximize tolerability of long-term therapy. Patient reported outcomes (PRO) are recorded at baseline and throughout treatment. Response and MRD are centrally assessed (Birmingham, Leeds). Primary endpoint for MUK9A is feasibility of central molecular testing within 56 days turnaround time, which we report on here. Primary endpoint of MUK9B is treatment efficacy, comparing MUK9B PFS to near-concurrent molecularly matched high-risk patient outcomes from UK NCRI Myeloma XI using a Bayesian design. Secondary endpoints include safety, PFS2, MRD and OS and study of molecular evolution in high-risk disease.


The protocol recruited 29/Sep/17 - 31/Jul/19 at 39 UK sites, achieving the recruitment target of 105 high-risk patients treated on MUK9B ahead of projections. At the time of analysis (12/Jul/19), 430 patients with suspected or confirmed NDMM have been recruited to MUK9A across 39 UK NHS hospitals. Of these, 376 (87%) patients were confirmed to have symptomatic MM (60.9% male; median age 61y (range 29-79)) as per updated IMWG diagnostic criteria (2014), including 9 (2%) PCL patients, with the remainder diagnosed as SMM/MGUS (31; 7%) or other (14; 3%). For 371 of the 376 symptomatic MM patients BM was received by the central laboratory and was of sufficient quality for profiling in 331 (89%) patients. Repeat samples were requested for all others and a sufficient sample received for 20/45 (44%). Central results were successfully reported within the pre-specified 56 day interval for all patients (median 17 days; IQR 13-22). Of 346 patients with a reported result, 128 (37.0%) have high-risk MM, with molecular characteristics mirroring Myeloma XI patients (Figure 1). PCL patients show expected characteristics as listed in Table 1. Basic demographics were not different between high-risk vs. non-high-risk. 101 high-risk patients have or are planning to enter MUK9B, 10 pending decision; 17 high-risk patients did not enter MUK9B, the majority due to ineligibility. 92 patients have started Dara-CVRD therapy. There are currently no safety concerns, the majority of patients are completing induction successfully; 1 patient stopped induction therapy due to adverse events. Updated results will be presented.


Our data demonstrate feasibility of multi-center molecular stratified trial delivery for high-risk NDMM patients. These early trial results strongly support accelerated trial strategies for MM patient groups with high unmet need and rational drug development specifically for high-risk MM.


Jenner:Abbvie, Amgen, Celgene, Novartis, Janssen, Sanofi Genzyme, Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau. Hall:Celgene, Amgen, Janssen, Karyopharm: Other: Research funding to Institution. Walker:Janssen, Celgene: Other: Research funding to Institution. Croft:Celgene: Other: Travel expenses. Jackson:Celgene, Amgen, Roche, Janssen, Sanofi: Honoraria. Flanagan:Amgen, Celgene, Janssen, Karyopharm: Other: Research funding to Institution. Drayson:Abingdon Health: Consultancy, Equity Ownership. Owen:Celgene, Janssen: Consultancy; Celgene: Research Funding; Janssen: Other: Travel expenses; Celgene, Janssen: Honoraria. Pratt:Binding Site, Amgen, Takeda, Janssen, Gilead: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel support. Cook:Celgene, Janssen-Cilag, Takeda: Honoraria, Research Funding; Janssen, Takeda, Sanofi, Karyopharm, Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squib, GlycoMimetics, Seattle Genetics, Sanofi: Honoraria. Brown:Amgen, Celgene, Janssen, Karyopharm: Other: Research funding to Institution. Kaiser:Celgene, Janssen: Research Funding; Abbvie, Celgene, Takeda, Janssen, Amgen, Abbvie, Karyopharm: Consultancy; Takeda, Janssen, Celgene, Amgen: Honoraria, Other: Travel Expenses.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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