On August 5, 2020, the U.S. FDA granted accelerated approval to belantamab mafodotin-blmf (BLENREP), an antibody drug conjugate, for adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four prior therapies. This is the first treatment that targets the B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), one of the most exciting new targets in cancer immunotherapy for multiple myeloma.
This March for Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, we look at new research, new treatments, and how we’re working toward a future immune to multiple myeloma.
Myeloma Treatment Landscape Update
At the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Dr. Philip Greenberg, head of immunology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, addressed different immunotherapies used in the treatment of blood cancers and new treatments in development to bring the benefits of immunotherapy to more patients.
COVID-19 and Blood Cancers
To gain a better understanding of how the pandemic is impacting clinical cancer care, especially for blood cancer patients, and how our health care system and physicians are adapting to meet the moment, we spoke with Melody Smith, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
READ Q&A with Dr. Smith
Multiple Myeloma Scientist Spotlight
CRI Fellow Tijana Martinov, Ph.D., of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is working to create Sox2-targeting engineered T cells for patients. Sox2 is important in regulating the growth of myeloma cells, so engineering a new T cell receptor that targets this protein could enable these immune cells to selectively recognize and kill cancer cells while sparing healthy tissues.
Learn About Tijana's Research
Immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma Info Update
Physicians are excited about a new treatment currently in clinical trials: a CAR T cell therapy that targets the BCMA molecule. Initial findings show dramatic complete response rates and the investigators are now working to make those responses more durable. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our information on immunotherapy for multiple myeloma up to date.
VIEW Immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma UPDATE
Find a Multiple Myeloma Clinical Trial
A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. The CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder will match you to trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible, and you can help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs for yourself and others.
FIND A Cancer Clinical TRIAL
Support Multiple Myeloma Research
CRI scientist Hearn Jay Cho, M.D., Ph.D., at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discovered that the MAGE-A3 and CT7/MAGE-C1 antigens are expressed in the tumors of more than 75 percent of myeloma patients. He also demonstrated that MAGE-A3 makes these cells resistant to both normal cell death and chemotherapy. Now, scientists are building on this work to create therapeutic cancer vaccines targeting MAGE antigens. This Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.
DONATE to Multiple Myeloma Research