Margo Sorgman was diagnosed with an MPN, polycythemia vera (PV), just a few months ago at the age of 71. She shares her story of learning about the condition, meeting with Dr. Brady Stein, and how she’s doing today.
Jeff Folloder, a husband, father, son, and cancer survivor, discusses his own personal journey with CLL and his philanthropic efforts in the cancer community.
Why do I have lung cancer if I’ve never smoked? Dianne Stewart, a stage IV cancer patient, asked herself this question following her diagnosis. Hear about her initial stage of shock and denial and her advice for others.
June 10, 2014
Recent excitement around the treatment for
multiple myeloma has surrounded the emergence of monoclonal antibody
immunotherapy. So what is the role of these therapies? In this video from the
2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Dr.
Thomas Martin, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center,
gives us an update into the two leading anti-CD38 drugs in development,
elotuzumab and SAR650984, the latter of which he has been a key investigator in
clinical research. Learn what potential this new class of drugs hold, their
potential role in the current landscape of multiple myeloma treatment, and what
patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma need to know about getting
involved with ongoing clinical trials.
View more programs featuring
Thomas Martin, MD and Carol Preston
Thomas Martin, MD
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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.
Hello and welcome to Patient Power. I’m Carol
Preston on location in Chicago at the 2014 American Society of Clinical
Oncology. And with me right now is Dr. Tom Martin, of UCSF, a specialist in
multiple myeloma. Dr. Martin, thank you so much for joining us.
Now at ASCO, you are presenting data on SAR, which is a
promising new antibody targeting the CD38 development. This era, first of all,
of targeted medicine is nothing short of miraculous. Can you tell us a little
bit about your investigation and what you’re finding?
Yeah, sure. So at this meeting, we’re presenting
two sets of data. SAR is an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. CD38 is expressed on
a lot of hematologic malignancies but specifically on multiple myeloma—very
highly expressed on multiple myeloma—and, so, it’s a great target for us to
develop for myeloma.
What happens is the antibody goes and binds to the myeloma
cell, to the plasma cell, and it really sends a flag to the immune system to
“come get me.” So the antibody works by engaging the patient’s own immune
system to perform what’s called antibody-dependent cellular toxicity. So the
cells like the NK cells and the macrophages and the other immune cells go and
help kill that cell. And there’s also complement protein in circulation that
sees antibodies bound to a cell like that and also helps kill it by
jackhammering a hole in the surface of the cell. So those two mechanisms together are very
powerful in killing these myeloma cells.
So we’re presenting data on two things: one using the
antibody alone as a therapeutic in patients who have relapsed and refractory
myeloma; really patients who have no other option. We also did a similar study
using the antibody together with lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone (Decadron).
There is pre-clinical data that, perhaps, if you add an IMiD like lenalidomide
or Revlimid, that might actually increase the activity of some of these immune
fighter cells like NK cells and macrophages. Together, there might be a more
robust response. I think that our data shows that as a single agent, it works
really well. As a combination, it works even better.
In terms of the development progressing nicely,
what is the next step?
We’re seeing responses with this antibody that is
equivalent to some of the drugs that are already approved for use in myeloma.
That’s quite exciting. This is a whole new class of drugs for myeloma. Now, when
we define that, as a single agent, it works really well, we then try to combine
it with all of the other medicines for myeloma. There’s a multi-pronged
approach now. So it’s going to be combined with lenalidomide, with carfilzomib
or Kyprolis, with pomalidomide, with bortezomib. So many more studies are going
to be performed in the next three to five years. You know, eventually, with the
hope that this is going to be one of the next approved agents for multiple
So what is the bottom line for patients then?
With this antibody, again, in combination with
other medications, that we’ll help get this antibody out on the market, help
get it FDA approved so that all patients will have access to this. So at the
current time, it’s really participation through clinical trials that patients
have access to this. The antibody itself is very safe. The toxicity profile is
really quite acceptable, and I would encourage patients to try to use that
mechanism to get access at the current time. This antibody has the ability to
really expand its use to many blood cancers. Especially since at the current
time, we’re having great responses in myeloma and little toxicity. So many
other studies will be developed. I would say that patients that have other
blood cancers, they should also look at ClinicalTrials.gov over the next year
to two years and where these studies will be done.
Final takeaway for patients.
I would say the final takeaway is, in my mind,
there are two blockbuster medications, or groups of medications, for myeloma
right now. That’s the proteasome inhibitors, bortezomib or Velcade, carfilzomib
or Kyprolis; and IMiDs, that’s lenalidomide or Revlimid, Pomalyst or
pomalidomide. There’s no third blockbuster until now. I think these
immunotherapies, especially the monoclonal antibodies, and these anti-CD38
antibodies, the SAR drug, perhaps the Dara drug, and there’s another one from
Celgene, that these antibodies are now showing single-agent responses equivalent
to some of these other approved drugs. This is really a great development for
patients with myeloma and other blood cancers. This is going to be, in my mind,
the next blockbuster drug for myeloma.
Very exciting. The breakthroughs continue in
immunotherapy in oncology. Thank you so much, Dr. Tom Martin of UCSF.
Thank you very much.
Cynthia Chmielewski, patient advocate and mentor, share her thoughts on the evolving myeloma research landscape.
Published: January 24, 2014
Dr. James Berenson discusses the importance of using maintenance therapies with limited side effects and explores targeted treatments that increase the hope for a curative therapy within the next few years.
Published: January 14, 2014
What is next in multiple myeloma? Dr. Edward Libby of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, shares some of the major themes in myeloma, including new combinations showing quality responses among some patients.
By Andrew Schorr