Studies Highlight Newly Approved and Novel Multiple Myeloma Treatments

Barbara L. Jones
Published: Friday, Jul 26, 2013
Katja C. Weisel, MD

Katja C. Weisel, MD

Researchers highlighted the latest developments in the treatment of multiple myeloma at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. Noteworthy abstracts included updated data on pomalidomide (Pomalyst), which the FDA recently approved, as well as research involving the promising novel agents daratumumab and elotuzumab.

New Standard of Care in Relapsed/Refractory MM

Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone “should become the standard of care for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) after treatment with lenalidomide and bortezomib,” said Katja C. Weisel, MD, associate professor at University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany, reflecting the views of an international group of investigators taking part in the large MM-003 trial.1

On February 8, 2013, the FDA approved oral pomalidomide for the treatment of patients with MM who have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and bortezomib, and who have had disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy.

CD38 Monoclonal Antibody Yields “Unprecedented” Early-Stage Data

The investigational monoclonal antibody (mAb) daratumumab targets the CD38 molecule, which is highly expressed on the surface of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Daratumumab has been shown to have broad-spectrum cytotoxic activity; it acts by mediating killing of CD38-expressing tumor cells via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, complement-dependent cytotoxicity, and apoptosis.

Sagar Lonial, MD

Sagar Lonial, MD

In early May, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for daratumumab for the treatment of patients with MM who have received at least three prior lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent, or for patients who are double-refractory to both classes of drugs.

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