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Shebli Atrash, MD, on BCMA-Directed Therapy Options for Multiple Myeloma

Shebli Atrash, MD, discussed the current landscape of available BCMA-directed therapies for treating multiple myeloma.

This content originally appeared on our sister site, OncLive.

BCMA is a relatively new therapeutic target for multiple myeloma treatments. In 2020, the FDA approved Belantamab mafodotin-blmf (Blenrep), the first BCMA-directed therapy approved by the agency. The approval was based on data from the phase 2 DREAMM-2 study (NCT03525678), which demonstrated a promising overall response rate (ORR) in a population with relapsed/refractory disease.

Idecabtagene vicleucel (Abecma) became the first cell-based gene therapy to gain FDA approval for multiple myeloma in 2021. Ciltacabtagene autoleucel (Carvykti), another recently approved chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, demonstrated a high ORR in the phase 1b/2 CARTITUDE-1 trial (NCT03548207).

In an interview with OncLive, Shebli Atrash, MD, member, Plasma Cell Disorders Program, Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, spoke about these developments and the current use of these options in treating patients with multiple myeloma.

Atrash cautioned that despite the strengths of these therapies, it is important to take into account the safety and toxicity profiles of each drug class. Belantamab mafodotin has shown a high rate of corneal toxicity. Meanwhile, both idecabtagene vicleucel and ciltacabtagene autoleucel can lead to cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell–associated neurotoxicity syndrome. Atrash concluded that awareness and management of these adverse events are of great importance.