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.


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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