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Daratumumab Triplet Hailed as New Standard for Advanced Myeloma

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Monday, Jul 11, 2016

Antonio Palumbo, MD

Antonio Palumbo, MD

Following the promising addition of a monoclonal antibody, the 3-drug regimen of daratumumab (Darzalex), bortezomib (Velcade), and dexamethasone should seamlessly become the new standard of care for relapsed/refractory patients with multiple myeloma, according to Antonio Palumbo, MD.

Encouraging findings from the phase III CASTOR trial, which were presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, demonstrated that when daratumumab was added to bortezomib and dexamethasone, it led to a 61% reduction in the risk of progression or death.

The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.2 months in the 2-drug arm and was not yet reached in the daratumumab arm (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.28-0.53; P <.0001). The overall response rates were 83% and 63% (P <.0001) in the experimental and control arms, respectively.

“The conclusion of this study could be that we observed a major advantage in terms of outcome—we saw a 61% reduction in the risk of disease progression, a doubling of the remission duration for patients receiving this combination of therapy, and a very good safety profile without any cumulative toxicity over the control arm,” says Palumbo, the lead CASTOR investigator.

In an interview with OncLive, Palumbo, chief of the Myeloma Unit, Department of Oncology, University of Torino, discusses the practice-changing findings for relapsed/refractory patients and what questions remain with the 3-drug regimen.

OncLive: Can you share the design and exciting findings of the CASTOR trial?

Palumbo: These are major findings coming from a randomized study comparing the 3-drug combination of daratumumab plus bortezomib and dexamethasone versus the 2-drug combination of bortezomib and dexamethasone, which is the current standard of care for the treatment of relapsed/refractory patients with multiple myeloma.

In this study, almost 500 patients were randomized to receive daratumumab, bortezomib, and dexamethasone or bortezomib and dexamethasone alone. The primary endpoint of the study was PFS.

The major finding from this study was the reduction in the risk of disease progression of 61%; this is unprecedented in comparison to other studies in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. This translated into a doubled remission time for patients who received this 3-drug combination.

We also observed a major increase in response rate, leading to a most profound cytoreduction. The rate of complete response was doubled from 10% to 20%, and the rate of very good partial response was almost doubled from nearly 30% to 60%. This has relevant consequences because, in patients who have achieved profound cytoreduction, it did not only double the remission duration—it almost tripled the remission duration.

What was the safety profile of the triplet regimen?

From a safety point of view, the combination was very well tolerated. The major message is that they were no cumulative toxicities with the addition of the monoclonal antibody. The toxicities that were observed in the control arm were mainly the same in the experimental arm. Monoclonal antibodies do not usually have toxicities that are observed with chemotherapy combinations.

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