Dr. Anderson on the Challenges Faced With CAR T-Cell Therapy in Myeloma


Larry Anderson, MD, PhD, discusses the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy in patients with multiple myeloma.

Larry Anderson, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, discusses the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy in patients with multiple myeloma.

Although CAR T-cell therapy has demonstrated efficacy as a therapeutic option for this patient population, this modality is known to come with specific associated toxicities, according to Anderson. As such, the availability of CAR T-cell therapy is currently limited to large referral centers, such as bone marrow transplant centers or academic medical centers that have expertise in stem cell and cell therapies, Anderson explains.

Additionally, CAR T-cell therapy often requires a multidisciplinary team comprised of social workers, caregivers, and others, Anderson says. After receiving CAR T-cell therapy, patients cannot drive for 2 months due to the risk of neurotoxicity and seizures; as such, patients receiving this modality may require a caregiver. Moreover, due to fevers or other symptoms of cytokine release syndrome, other medical professionals a patient visits will need to be made aware of the treatment, Anderson adds. Additionally, patients generally need to live within hours of their treatment center for at least the first month of therapy, which could impact their lifestyle, according to Anderson.

However, the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy are often balanced out by the freedom of not needing to be on additional treatment for the coming years, Anderson concludes.

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