Multiple myeloma is a form of rare blood cancer. It happens in the plasma cells. They are a type of white blood cell. They make antibodies called immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins fight infection. Multiple myeloma occurs when plasma cells become cancerous and multiply uncontrollably. The cells produce abnormal antibodies called M proteins. As of September 2020, 160,000 multiple myeloma cases were worldwide, with 106,000 deaths.
According to the American Cancer Society's projections for 2022, an estimated 34,470 new cases will be reported (19,100 in men and 15,370 in women) only in the US. And 12,640 fatalities are anticipated (7,090 in men and 5,550 in women).
While multiple myeloma is incurable, treatments have grown a great deal. A plethora of innovations for new myeloma treatments have been available since 2015. New drugs for multiple myeloma treatment helped people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.
Ciltacabtagene autoleucel, sold under the brand name Carvykti, is the latest FDA-approved drug in oncology. It is a kind of Car-T therapy for adult patients with refractory or relapsed multiple myeloma.
Stay with us till the end to learn more about this newest treatment for multiple myeloma.
More About: Ciltacabtagene Autoleucel (Carvykti)
The Food and Drug Administration approved another Car-T therapy for multiple myeloma on February 28, 2022. Ciltacabtagene autoleucel (Carvykti) is the new drug for multiple myeloma. It is the newest treatment for multiple myeloma patients who are not responding to treatment or whose cancer has returned. This treatment is also for patients undergoing four or more cancer cure therapies.
Doctors tailor each dose of ciltacabtagene autoleucel treatment using patients' own T cells. T cells are disease-fighting white blood cells that attack myeloma. Doctors genetically change patients' T cells and put them back in the body.
FDA gave its approval based on the trial Cartitude-1. Almost every patient in the trial saw a reduction in the amount of cancer. Moreover, many participants also had their cancer checked for more than a year.
Dr. Davies said CAR T-cell therapy “works in a completely different way than our standard treatments and, therefore, it offers a different way of killing [drug] resistant myeloma cells, which really is the key.”
More details about trial Cartitude-1
Cartitude-1 was a small, multicenter clinical trial comprising 97 patients. All of them had already received many lines of therapy for multiple myeloma. These included a proteasome inhibitor (PI), an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, and an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD).
- Researchers gave all patients a single infusion of cilta-cel.
- 98% of the patients responded to the treatment. 95 out of 97 patients saw a reduction of cancer in their bodies.
- 78% of the patients showed stringent complete responses. This means they showed no signs of cancer in blood or bone marrow on sophisticated tests.
Ciltacabtagene autoleucel treatment is incredibly good news about multiple myeloma. All other FDA-approved drugs for multiple myeloma have a success rate of 30%. This is because multiple myeloma is a recurrent disease. Hence, it is essential to keep innovating new drugs and therapies to improve the patient's quality of life. Moreover, the latest treatment has also shown a 100% response rate in the clinical trial. This brings hope for the innovation of resistant treatment for myeloma.
What are the side effects of Ciltacabtagene Autoleucel (Carvykti)?
During trial Cartitude-1, patients experienced infections, nerve tingling or pain, and cytokine release syndrome. Such side effects are typical of Car T-cell therapy.
Moreover, the packaged label of Carvykti comes with warnings for six potentially life-threatening effects. They are,
- hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS),
- Guillain-Barre syndrome, cytokine release syndrome, parkinsonism, prolonged periods of low blood counts, and
- immune effector cell–associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS).
In its efforts to evaluate the long-term safety of Carvykti, the FDA has asked manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutical to conduct a post-marketing observational study. The study will focus on patients who are treated with ciltacabtagene autoleucel.
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