Dr. Kumar on Recent Advancements in the Field of Multiple Myeloma

Shaji Kumar, MD
Published: Thursday, Apr 27, 2017



Shaji Kumar, MD, professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, discusses some of the recent advancements, including FDA approvals, in the field of multiple myeloma.

Monoclonal antibodies are a new class of drugs in the field, one of which includes daratumumab (Darzalex) that targets CD38-positive cells. The single-agent activity with daratumumab was shown to be very impressive in patients who were heavily pretreated. Additionally, phase III trial findings demonstrated that triplet regimens with daratumumab—when paired with lenalidomide/dexamethasone or bortezomib/dexamethasone—significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS). Many patients also became minimal residual disease-negative. Having this new class of drugs has the potential to change the therapeutic approach to both newly diagnosed and relapsed patients, Kumar says.

Elotuzumab (Empliciti) does not have single-agent activity, but is found to improve PFS and overall survival when added to lenalidomide/dexamethasone in patients who have had 1 to 3 prior lines of therapy, he adds. There are other combinations with elotuzumab that are currently being explored, he says.
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Shaji Kumar, MD, professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, discusses some of the recent advancements, including FDA approvals, in the field of multiple myeloma.

Monoclonal antibodies are a new class of drugs in the field, one of which includes daratumumab (Darzalex) that targets CD38-positive cells. The single-agent activity with daratumumab was shown to be very impressive in patients who were heavily pretreated. Additionally, phase III trial findings demonstrated that triplet regimens with daratumumab—when paired with lenalidomide/dexamethasone or bortezomib/dexamethasone—significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS). Many patients also became minimal residual disease-negative. Having this new class of drugs has the potential to change the therapeutic approach to both newly diagnosed and relapsed patients, Kumar says.

Elotuzumab (Empliciti) does not have single-agent activity, but is found to improve PFS and overall survival when added to lenalidomide/dexamethasone in patients who have had 1 to 3 prior lines of therapy, he adds. There are other combinations with elotuzumab that are currently being explored, he says.



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