Highlights in Multiple Myeloma From ASCO 2021

Joseph Mikhael, MD


June 29, 2021

Dr Joseph Mikhael, professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, highlights studies in multiple myeloma presented at ASCO’s 2021 Annual Meeting.

Dr Mikhael first reports on the CARDAMON trial, a phase 3 study that investigates whether autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) is needed if a patient is treated with carfilzomib in combination with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone. Although a deeper response rate was produced for patients who received ASCT, there was no evidence that ASCT is more effective than the combination therapy alone.

Next, Dr Mikael discusses the FORTE study. This multiarm study previously demonstrated that carfilzomib added to lenalidomide and dexamethasone, followed by ASCT, yields improved progression-free survival (PFS). This phase of the study divided patients into three groups: standard-risk, single-high risk, or double-high risk. Each group demonstrated significantly prolonged PFS from the start of maintenance using carfilzomib/lenalidomide vs lenalidomide alone.

Dr Mikhael then reports on the CASSIOPEIA study, which further examined the use of daratumumab, this time as a maintenance therapy. The study showed that daratumumab results in significantly longer PFS, suggesting a potential role for this drug in maintenance.

Finally, Dr Mikhael turns to strategies being studied in patients with relapsed or refractory disease. He reports promising data on the use of teclistamab and talquetamab as well as results of the CARTITUDE-1 study, which examined CAR T-cell therapy in this setting.


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