-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

5074 Advancing Collaboration across the Multiple Myeloma Treatment Journey from Oncology Clinic to CAR T-Cell Center: A Paired Center Transformative Quality Improvement Initiative

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 902. Health Services and Quality Improvement - Lymphoid Malignancies: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Clinical Practice (Health Services and Quality), Plasma Cell Disorders, Diseases, Lymphoid Malignancies
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Sikander Ailawadhi1, Shelby Sullivan, PharmD2*, Jeffrey Carter, PhD3* and Cherilyn Heggen, PhD3*

1Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
2PRIME Education, LLC, Berkley, MI
3PRIME Education, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL


Treating patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is a complex endeavor that requires effective clinical decision-making from a team of specialists and supporting clinicians. Additionally, treatment with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy presents unique challenges, requiring communication and collaboration between the oncology clinic and CAR T-cell treatment centers. To improve collaborative MM care, we conducted a quality improvement (QI) study, bringing together community and academic oncology centers to assess current practice patterns and develop strategies to overcome barriers in the treatment of patients with MM across the continuum of care.


This QI initiative is comprised of baseline provider surveys (Community n = 21; Academic n = 18) and pre- and post-surveys of providers (n = 31) participating in small-group, team-based audit-feedback (AF) sessions (Table 1). Survey questions were designed to assess knowledge, confidence, and experiences in keeping up with the latest clinical evidence and guideline recommendations and collaboration and communication practices between centers. Care teams from each clinic, along with a nationally renowned expert MM physician, participated in audit and feedback sessions to (a) assess system-specific practice gaps identified via the provider surveys, (b) prioritize areas for improvement, and (c) develop action plans for addressing root causes.


Provider Surveys: When asked their top challenge encountered in managing patients with MM, community-based providers reported keeping up with clinical evidence for new and emerging therapies (48%), whereas academic-based providers reported knowing how to optimally sequence therapies (50%). Further differences between community and academic clinicians were evident in their self-reported confidence in their ability to stay up-to-date with new data on CAR T-cell therapies and other MM treatment (high/very high confidence: 84% academic; 24% community; p < .001), ability to align clinical practices with evidence-based guidelines (high/very high confidence: 72% academic; 34% community; p = .018), and ability to sequence lines of therapy and differentiate between novel therapies for MM (high/very high confidence: 72% academic; 29% community; p = .007). Despite these differences, care teams from both settings reported low percentages of eligible patients have received CAR T-cell therapy for MM, citing patient resistance, cost and difficulty gaining insurance approval as top barriers (Figure 1). When asked to rate the level of communication and collaboration between academic and community centers, 44% of academic providers and 35% of community providers rated very good/excellent. The top barrier among providers not indicating very good/excellent communication from both settings was lack of time for our clinic’s staff to communicate.

AF Sessions: Providers participating in the small group AF sessions reported gaining access to newer therapies (55%) as their biggest challenge regarding MM management. Clinicians indicated gains in moderate/high/very high confidence in their ability to align treatment decisions with guidelines and clinical evidence for MM (78% to 92%) and ability to sequence treatment options across multiple lines of therapy for patients with MM (80% to 100%). Care teams set goals to enhance knowledge of clinical efficacy and safety of new and emerging therapies for MM. Action plans to achieve these goals include developing a hematology disease specific tumor board to collaborate on patient care plans, further train designated staff members focused on CAR T-cell/MM, discuss relevant new data to improve the team’s confidence in therapy sequencing and early referrals to CAR T-cell centers.


Through this QI initiative, clinical teams identified barriers to optimal MM care, creating and implementing specific action plans to increase knowledge of current and emerging therapies for MM to enhance individualized treatment plans. While meaningful confidence gains were demonstrated, these data underscore clinical practice gaps to address in future initiatives to support evidence-based, collaborative care plans for patients with MM.

Study Sponsor Statement

The study reported in this abstract was funded by educational grants from Bristol Myers Squibb. The grantors had no role in the study design, execution, analysis, or reporting.

Disclosures: Ailawadhi: AbbVie, Amgen, Ascentage, BMS, Cellectar, GSK, Janssen, Pharmacyclics, Sanofi: Research Funding; Beigene, BMS, Cellectar, GSK, Janssen, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi, Takeda: Consultancy.

*signifies non-member of ASH