Press Release Details

New Survey Reveals the Majority of Myeloma Patients That Undergo Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Testing Find a Clear Clinical or Emotional Benefit from Results

November 21, 2022 at 7:30 AM EST
  • >95% of patients who had an MRD test describe that MRD testing helped inform treatment decisions or brought comfort in their treatment journey
  • 85% of surveyed patients have heard of MRD testing, yet only 47% report having had an MRD test, highlighting an opportunity to expand education to benefit more patients

SEATTLE and SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation (Nasdaq: ADPT), a commercial stage biotechnology company that aims to translate the genetics of the adaptive immune system into clinical products to diagnose and treat disease, and HealthTree Foundation, a patient-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers patients at each step of their disease journey, today announced findings from a new survey of 635 U.S. multiple myeloma patients which revealed important insights about the value of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing from the patient’s perspective. Notably, 96% of respondents who self-reported having used MRD testing found the testing useful or very useful. However, though the patients who have had an MRD test saw a clear clinical and emotional benefit from using this tool, 53% of all survey participants reported not using the test or were unsure if they had the test, underscoring the need for more education.

“MRD testing can benefit both multiple myeloma patients and providers, not only enabling precise monitoring of disease burden, which can help guide patient management, but also allowing patients to feel informed and empowered in the face of a diagnosis that introduces overwhelming uncertainty into their lives,” said Susan Bobulsky, Senior Vice President, Diagnostics, Adaptive Biotechnologies. “We’re proud to work with HealthTree Foundation to assess and learn from real-world patient experiences with MRD testing, so that we can address the gaps that remain in patient and clinician education on this clinically relevant subject.”

MRD refers to the remaining number of cancer cells that are present in a patient’s body during and after treatment, which may eventually lead to recurrence of the disease. MRD testing can provide meaningful benefits to patients with multiple myeloma when used in clinical practice. MRD is a powerful and dynamic measure of risk status, providing real-time insights into disease progression and arming healthcare providers with data that can help them develop a personalized care plan for patients.

The survey, which was designed and fielded by HealthTree Foundation, sought to engage a large and representative sample of patients in order to better understand current awareness, knowledge and perceptions of MRD testing in the myeloma patient community. The survey results revealed:

  • Very high perceived value of MRD results among tested patients, but many inconsistencies in patient access
    • Of the 635 respondents, approximately 85% were familiar with MRD testing, yet only 47% self-reported having had MRD testing
    • Importantly, for patients who had MRD testing, their experiences were overwhelmingly positive, with 96% finding the test useful and 60% finding it extremely useful
    • Among respondents who were confirmed to have had MRD testing based on review of their medical records, 81% said that MRD testing brought them comfort in their treatment journey by keeping them consistently informed, and 78% said that the results helped inform their provider’s treatment decisions
    • More than 90% of respondents who were confirmed to have had MRD testing would recommend it to other patients
  • Gaps in clinician-delivered MRD education and results sharing
    • Half of respondents were only somewhat or less familiar with MRD testing
    • Of those who were familiar with MRD testing, 59% of respondents learned about MRD from their own research, versus only 41% who learned about it from their doctor
    • Among respondents with validated medical records indicating they had received MRD testing, 14% did not know they had it or were unsure
  • Strong desire for education and access to MRD insights among untested patients
    • Among respondents who were not familiar with MRD testing, 87% reported wishing that they had more information regarding how many cancer cells remain in their body during and after treatment
    • Among this same group, 99% expressed a desire to learn more about MRD

“HealthTree wants to help support myeloma patients to receive their best treatments and care. A key part of that care is the use of the most advanced diagnostics,” said Jenny Ahlstrom, Myeloma Patient and HealthTree Founder. “The survey results help us understand that there is more work to be done in educating the patient community and their doctors about MRD testing and that doctors and advocacy groups are their key points of contact for that information.”

The survey, which was supported by Adaptive, was conducted by HealthTree Foundation between September 28 - October 31, 2022. For more information about the uses and benefits of MRD testing, visit: or

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a rare type of blood cancer that develops in bones and other areas of the body. Multiple myeloma results when certain cancerous cells, called myeloma cells, build up in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma is a disease with lots of ups and downs - for some people it appears to have gone away, and then returns. Any amount of residual disease may mean there is an increased risk that a patient’s multiple myeloma could worsen. Routine monitoring of a patient’s cancer status with diagnostic testing, such as minimal residual disease (MRD) testing, can help to monitor a patient’s cancer levels and may help to inform treatment decisions.

About Minimal Residual Disease (MRD)
Minimal residual disease, or MRD, refers to the number of cancer cells that remain during and after cancer treatment. MRD testing provides extensive benefits to patients with multiple myeloma as the diagnostic is used to provide insights on cell changes at a microscopic level about disease status, progression and recurrence. Importantly, MRD testing arms healthcare providers with the precise data that is necessary to develop a personalized treatment plan and prognosis post-therapy for patients. There are different types of MRD testing methods, but next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays are extremely sensitive with the ability to detect a single cancer cell among a million healthy cells.

About HealthTree Foundation
HealthTree Foundation is a patient-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers patients at each step of their disease journey. Myeloma and AML patients can access the foundation's resources for free and will be expanding to other blood cancers in the near future. The resources include HealthTree Cure Hub, an online community tool that helps patients explore their best treatment options, find clinical trials based on their stage of disease and lab values, and contribute their de-identified data to accelerate a cure. Other HealthTree tools include a learning management platform called HealthTree University, a HealthTree Coach mentoring program, disease news sites, community webinar events and a specialist directory. Jennifer Ahlstrom and her husband Paul founded the HealthTree Foundation which provides patient education, advocacy and research funding for multiple myeloma and AML.

About Adaptive Biotechnologies
Adaptive Biotechnologies (“we” or “our”) is a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on harnessing the inherent biology of the adaptive immune system to transform the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We believe the adaptive immune system is nature’s most finely tuned diagnostic and therapeutic for most diseases, but the inability to decode it has prevented the medical community from fully leveraging its capabilities. Our proprietary immune medicine platform reveals and translates the massive genetics of the adaptive immune system with scale, precision and speed. We apply our platform to partner with biopharmaceutical companies, inform drug development, and develop clinical diagnostics across our two business areas: Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) and Immune Medicine. Our commercial products and clinical pipeline enable the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. Our goal is to develop and commercialize immune-driven clinical products tailored to each individual patient.

Mary Pat Lancelotta, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications
Karina Calzadilla, Vice President, Investor Relations 
Carrie Mendivil, Gilmartin Group


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