Bone marrow cancer: successful therapy in 73% of patients.
A promising therapy that causes the immune system to kill cancerous cells in the bone marrow. Success in 73% of patients.
The therapy is called talquetamab. A very promising cure for making the immune system kill bone marrow cancer cells. It binds to both T cells and multiple myeloma cells and directs the T cells to kill multiple myeloma cells. The study participants had all been treated with different therapies with no lasting remission.
The Phase 1 study of the new treatment enrolled 232 patients, while the Phase 2 study enrolled 143 patients on a weekly dose. Then 145 patients with a higher biweekly dose. The surprisingly successful response in these two groups was approximately 73% . Over 30% of patients in both groups had a complete response. Nearly 60% had a very good or better partial response. The median time to response averaged 1.2 months in both dose groups. Duration to date averages 9.3 months with weekly dosing.
Side effects were frequent, but also mild. Three-quarters of the patients experienced cytokine release syndrome, while 60% experienced skin-related side effects. Only 5-6% of participants had to discontinue talquetamab due to side effects. This new drug is a hope that could give patients another option to prolong life and be able to take advantage of new treatments in the future.