Thomas G. Martin, MD, on Results of CARTITUDE-1 and Other Data for Cilta-Cel at ASH 2021

Thomas G. Martin, MD, spoke about the previously reported results of the CARTITUDE-1 study in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma ahead of the 2021 ASH Annual Meeting.

At the 2021 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, Thomas G. Martin, MD, associate director of the Myeloma Program at the University of California San Francisco, discussed the results of the CARTITUDE-1 study (NCT03548207) that investigated the CAR T-cell therapy ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel) targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.


The CARTITUDE-1 study was [conducted in the] United States study in which patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma were treated with ciltacabtagene autoleucel, or cilta-cel, a novel BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell therapy. Ninety-seven patients were infused with cilta-cel. [It was shown] at 1 year that the overall response rate was 97% and the stringent complete response rate was quite good at 67%. The median progression-free survival [PFS] was not reached at 12 months, the 12-month PFS rate was 77%, and the overall survival [rate] at 12 months was 89%.1

The CAR T-cell therapy is a single-agent therapy. It’s showing such an amazing response in the truly relapsed and refractory patients. These patients have had 5, 6, or 10 prior lines of therapy and really had no other options. You would expect the overall survival in that group of patients to be less than 9 months. We want to look at it in many other scenarios [such as] in early relapse with 1 to 3 prior lines of therapy. In fact, there will be a presentation at ASH using cilta-cel in [patients with] 1 to 3 prior lines of therapy.2 That will be a very interesting update in those patients.

We want to try to use [cilta-cel] in patients as part of consolidation of frontline therapy [and] using CAR T-cell therapy in lieu of or instead of autologous stem cell transplant. There are many of us who believe that CAR T-cell therapy has a more robust response rate and a deeper response than autologous transplant with less toxicity. Seeing how it performs as part of frontline therapy to see if we can even have longer remission durations in the newly diagnosed setting will be fun to watch and an important question to answer.


1. Berdeja JG, Madduri D, Usmani SZ, et al. Ciltacabtagene autoleucel, a B-cell maturation antigen-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (CARTITUDE-1): a phase 1b/2 open-label study. Lancet. 2021;398(10297):314-324. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00933-8

2. Cohen YC, Cohen AD, Delforge M, et al. Efficacy and safety of ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), a b-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)–directed chimeric antigen receptor (car) t-cell therapy, in lenalidomide-refractory patients with progressive multiple myeloma after 1–3 prior lines of therapy: updated results from CARTITUDE-2. Presented at: 63rd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition; December 11-14, 2021; Atlanta, GA. Abstract 3866.