Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

Immunotherapy in Multiple Myeloma: Today and Tomorrow

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Monday, August 27, 2018

Researchers are “rapidly establishing the cornerstone role of immunotherapies in the management of all phases of multiple myeloma,” wrote coauthors Muhamed Baljevic, MD, and Sarah A. Holstein, MD, PhD, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, in a review of this spectrum of available (and future) agents.

Published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, their review covered daratumumab, elotuzumab, and denosumab—all U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved treatments for multiple myeloma—as well as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, anti–B-cell maturation antigen antibody therapy, and checkpoint inhibitors—all currently under investigation for this disease, the second most common hematologic malignancy. The authors described and made recommendations for each therapy.

“The rapid development of [anti–multiple myeloma] agents with novel mechanisms of action and immune-modulating activities has led to increased complexity with respect to treatment options and potential adverse effects,” Drs. Baljevic and Holstein acknowledged. However, they enthusiastically noted, “the possibility of approaching a cure for multiple myeloma or, at a minimum, long-term disease control has never looked more promising.”

An accompanying editorial in the journal, by Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, agreed that immune-based strategies could “overcome the intrinsic and ongoing evolving genetic complexity in multiple myeloma.” But “long-term disease-free survival and potential cure of multiple myeloma will require not only achieving minimal residual disease negativity,” Dr. Anderson reminded in his conclusion, “but also restoration of host [anti–multiple myeloma] immunity.”

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