Challenges With CAR T Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: Larry D. Anderson Jr, MD, PhD


The associate professor from the UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center discussed the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy in patients with multiple myeloma.

This content originally appeared on our sister site, OncLive.

OncLive spoke with Larry Anderson, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, about the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy in patients with multiple myeloma.

CAR T-cell therapy, although having demonstrated efficacy in multiple myeloma, comes with some associated toxicities that must be addressed. Because of this, Anderson said, CAR T-cell therapy availability is currently limited to large referral centers, such as bone marrow transplant centers or academic medical centers that have expertise in stem cell and cell therapies.

Additionally, CAR T-cell therapy often requires a multidisciplinary team comprised of social workers, caregivers, and others, Anderson says. After receiving CAR T-cell therapy, patients cannot drive for 2 months due to the risk of neurotoxicity and seizures; as such, patients receiving this modality may require a caregiver. Moreover, due to fevers or other symptoms of cytokine release syndrome, other medical professionals a patient visits will need to be made aware of the treatment, Anderson adds. Additionally, patients generally need to live within hours of their treatment center for at least the first month of therapy, which could impact their lifestyle, according to Anderson.

However, the challenges faced with CAR T-cell therapy are often balanced out by the freedom of not needing to be on additional treatment for the coming years, Anderson concludes.

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