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Expanding Treatment Horizons: Clinical Trial Data Updates for Myeloma

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Published on January 22, 2019

Renowned expert Dr. Gareth Morgan, from The UAMS Myeloma Institute, joined Patient Power at the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting to share emerging clinical trial research for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Morgan discusses the combinability of certain myeloma therapies, maintenance data and which patient subsets targeted treatments are suitable for. Dr. Morgan also touches on the expanded use of venetoclax and what it means for myeloma patients. Watch now to hear the latest news.

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Transcript | Expanding Treatment Horizons: Clinical Trial Data Updates for Myeloma

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.

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.

Andrew Schorr:

Gareth, so of the—a lot of news coming out of ASH. What’s really impressed you that’s significant for patients then in all this context?

Dr. Morgan:                

So, I think the combinability of Daratumumab with other agents so it doesn’t impair people’s quality of life, that seems to combine with everything well. And like predictably, the MAIA data showed a great outcome up front. So, there’s a chance in the next year we’ll get it licensed for the upfront setting. The maintenance data with ixazomib (Ninlaro) looks good. And the data on the venetoclax (Venclexta) in myeloma is very encouraging. So, it’s a new mechanism of action that targets and programs cell death. So, it’s been a first in class drug like that for myeloma. It’s well tolerated and it works particularly well in the 11 to 14 subset of myeloma. 

Andrew Schorr:          

Jack, what about you? The news?

Jack Aiello:                 

I think those are all of them. And certainly, the CAR-T. But I’m still waiting to attend some oral sessions which occur tomorrow to hear more about the CAR-T therapies. 

But I think you’re spot on in terms of what’s been impressive so far. The venetoclax, as you said, works well in this T-11, 14 translocation. But the cool thing today was we saw it worked well for patients that don’t have that particular translocation. So—but it’s still early for some of these as well. 

Dr. Morgan:

So, to that helped Jack around the mechanism of location. Probably, he’d be saying that. So, it’s about how the myeloma cell survives. So, if it’s dependent on something called bcl-2, it’s cool. But often, it depends on something called ncl-1. And the proteasome inhibitor knocks down the ncl-1, sensitizes the cell to the venetoclax. So, the combination of those two agents is really enhancing the activity of the venetoclax. 

Esther Schorr:             

Can venetoclax be added to elotuzumab (Empliciti) and lenalidomide (Revlimid)?

Dr. Morgan:                

So, we don’t really know the answer to that. But seeing as both of those drugs induce some type of cell death and kind of venetoclax makes you sensitive to cell death, maybe you could. But we’re always trying to be safe and effective. So, we wouldn’t necessarily put combinations together without having thought them through. And currently, those are not recommended combinations. 

Andrew Schorr:          

Right. And we should mention that venetoclax—which is approved in use in CLL and also now AML—is not yet approved in myeloma. You’ve talked about it before. So, some of this is figuring out in the FDA as well and looking for data. What can work either alone or in combination? Right? We’re not there. But it’s accelerating, so that’s good news. 

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.