The Future of Immunotherapy is ‘Bright’ in Multiple Myeloma

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, speaks about transplant eligibility, as well as new therapies and minimal residual disease negativity, in the multiple myeloma space.

Following a recent Around the Practice® program, moderator C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, reviewed the program’s biggest takeaways in an interview with CancerNetwork®, focusing on recent changes in the setting of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Landgren also forecasted the future of transplantation for multiple myeloma given new and emerging therapies. He spotlighted the impact of recent advances in the relapsed/refractory disease setting.

Landgren is a professor of hematology, chief of the Myeloma Section, leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, and co-leader of the Tumor Biology Program at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Program.


Today we discussed how the field is changing in the newly-diagnosed setting. We talked about the traditional nomenclature of [patients with] transplant-eligible and non–transplant-eligible [disease], and our discussion put everything on the spot. Do patients have to undergo transplantation? Is eligibility the right terminology, or should [we divide patients according to] those who don’t want to undergo transplantation vs those who may need a transplant? I tweaked the terminology here to be controversial, but the field is undergoing many shifts.

Transplantation is going to be less important in the future as a result of better drugs. We have better immunotherapy drugs, [including] both antibodies and CAR T-cell [therapies], coming to earlier lines [of therapy], including in newly diagnosed patients; that will change the field. It also brings together older patients and younger patients, as well as frail patients vs those that are in better shape; everyone has a great chance to access effective therapy.

We also talked about the relapsed/refractory setting. We had a patient case in which minimal residual disease [MRD] negativity [was achieved] after 3 or more prior lines of therapy [had failed]. That’s something that we never saw in the past. This [outcome] was, again, a result of access to immunotherapy.

The future looks bright, [however], we still need curative drugs, and we need access to established cures for patients with myeloma.

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