Saad Z. Usmani, MD, MBA, FACP, on Intriguing Data for High-Risk Multiple Myeloma at 2021 ASCO

Usmani highlighted the FORTE study as one of the trials investigating the high-risk cohort of patients.

In a conversation with CancerNetwork®, Saad Z. Usmani, MD, MBA, FACP, of the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, detailed data from a handful of trials presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, focusing on patients with high-risk multiple myeloma and the need for further research into this area.


I was encouraged to see abstracts that are focusing on the high-risk patients in the newly diagnosed setting. There is the UK myeloma group study that is looking at ultra–high-risk and plasma cell leukemia [disease]. There is high-risk data being reported from the FORTE randomized, phase 2 trial (NCT02203643) experience. I do feel that high-risk [disease] is a very specific biologic subgroup that needs to be studied separately. I’m very encouraged by that [and] that we’re starting to see data in that particular subgroup.

The other area of interest at ASCO this year is updates from the bispecific antibodies, particularly targeting [B-cell maturation antigen], but also GPRC5D. Those data continue to look better and better. [It’s] very encouraging to see a new bispecific antibody [from] Pfizer which has a subcutaneous formulation showing good early responses in a refractory myeloma patient population. Those 2 would be my key or important ASCO abstract takeaways, besides the cellular therapy data, the high-risk subset being evaluated and then the new data in the bispecifics.


1. Berdeja JG, Krishnan AY, Oriol A, et al. Updated results of a phase 1, first-in-human study of talquetamab, a G protein-coupled receptor family C group 5 member D (GPRC5D) × CD3 bispecific antibody, in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). 10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8008 Journal of Clinical Oncology 39, no. 15_suppl (May 20, 2021) 8008-8008.

2. Gay F, Mina R, Rota-Scalabrini D, et al. Carfilzomib-based induction/consolidation with or without autologous transplant (ASCT) followed by lenalidomide (R) or carfilzomib-lenalidomide (KR) maintenance: Efficacy in high-risk patients. J Clin Oncol 39, 2021 (suppl 15; abstr 8002). doi: 10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8002.