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Kumar Recaps Ongoing Advances in Myeloma

Gina Columbus
Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Shaji Kumar, MD

Shaji Kumar, MD

The burst of single agents and combination regimens approved by the FDA in multiple myeloma in recent years has had a practice-changing effect on the field—filled with monoclonal antibodies, proteasome inhibitors, and histone deacetylase inhibitors.

 State of the Science Summit on Hematologic Malignancies, where he also lectured on newly approved agents for patients with multiple myeloma. In an interview during the meeting, he discussed these novel therapies in detail, the sequencing challenges ahead, and which current agents pose the greatest challenge.

OncLive: Looking back on the past year, what do you consider to be some key advancements? 

Kumar: Broadly, we think about it as 2 sets of drugs. One is that we are seeing new drugs of the same class, which have some distinct advantages, and we are also seeing some brand-new classes of drugs. The new classes of drugs are particularly exciting because you have the first monoclonal antibodies that have been approved for treatment in myeloma. You have daratumumab (Darzalex), a monoclonal antibody directed against CD38, which is presented on most of the plasma cells. The results that we saw with single-agent daratumumab were quite striking in a group of patients who were very heavily pretreated.
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