News From ASH 2018: A Multitude of Options in Myeloma

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Topics include: Treatments and Understanding

On-site at the 60th American Society of Hematology Meeting (ASH), Dr. Robert Orlowski discusses a wave of major highlights for myeloma patients and updates on therapies targeting BCMA antigen, MRD testing, CAR-T cell therapy and a second category of drugs, Bi-specific T-cell engager (BiTEs) driving headlines.

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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.

Esther Schorr:

So there are really three categories of drugs now that are looking very attractive.  One is what's called an antibody-drug conjugate.  So this is a plain old antibody that has another chemical attached to it, and it's given usually IV right now, attaches to the myeloma cell.  It then gets inside the cell and the drug is released.  So the antibody is essentially like a carrier molecule.  

So one of the first of these drugs that already is in the clinic is showing a 60 percent response rate in very heavily pretreated patients.  The registration study, meaning the trial that hopefully will get it approved by the FDA, has already finished enrolling, so we're hopeful that maybe by the end of 2019 this drug as a single agent will be available.  And it's really easy to give.  It's IV once every three weeks, which is pretty darn good. 

And also there are activities with the disease or with the T cell against myeloma, but there are also some side effects like cytokine release syndrome.  But the response rates with some of the more advanced molecules are in the 90 to 100 percent range, and the durability of that is at least a year to 18 months, depending on what patient population you look at.  And those are the most mature data of the three categories of immune therapies that we've talked about.  

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.

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Page last updated on January 14, 2019