BCMA as a Therapeutic Target and Biomarker in Multiple Myeloma
By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018
For patients with multiple myeloma, B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) appears to be both an effective biomarker for monitoring disease progression and a potential target of novel immune-based therapeutic approaches, according to a literature review of the latest BCMA research published in Targeted Oncology.
Since 2007, BCMA has been a target for therapeutic intervention in multiple myeloma, with approaches including antibody-toxin conjugates, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor T cells.
“Recent findings show that serum BCMA both predicts outcomes and can monitor the course of the disease of multiple myeloma patients while allowing more rapid assessment of changes in clinical status than currently available tests,” according to James R. Berenson, MD, Medical and Scientific Director at the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research, West Hollywood, California, and colleagues.
BCMA is a receptor found on the cell surface of mature normal B lymphocytes and on malignant plasma cells of patients with multiple myeloma. Significantly higher levels of membrane-bound BCMA expression were found in multiple myeloma bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs) than in BMMCs from healthy donors, and significantly higher levels of serum BCMA are seen in patients with progressive disease versus those responding to treatment. Research suggests the short half-life of soluble BCMA may help to note changes in the clinical status of patients with multiple myeloma.