Although multiple myeloma is chronic cancer that requires ongoing care, current treatments can enable people with the disease to live for years or decades. And while newer treatments, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and bispecific antibodies, are available for people with cancer that has relapsed, many people with multiple myeloma will not respond to these therapies and face relapse. A new bispecific antibody, called talquetamab, shows promising results in a clinical trial and could provide people with multiple myeloma a new option when other treatments have failed.
The results of the phase 2 clinical trial were presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).
“To me, this is the biggest thing to come out of ASH this year. It’s amazing,” Faith E. Davies, MD, director of the Center for Blood Cancers at NYU Langone Heath’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, tells STAT. “It’s actually huge that we’ve got a new target.”
Current bispecific antibodies, which bind to the cancer cell on one side of the drug and a T cell on the other side of the drug, and CAR T cells target a protein called BCMA. Talquetamab targets a different protein, GPRC5D. Researchers do not know whether people will respond better to the GPRC5D-targeted drug or the BCMA-targeted drug.
“We don’t have that data unfortunately at the moment,” says Dr. Davies, also a professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and director of Perlmutter Cancer Center’s Clinical Myeloma Program. “For the majority of patients, both targets are expressed, so you can probably do it in either order. But, as we go deeper, I hope that we will be able to look at patients with myeloma and say which bispecific will be better for you.”
Read more from STAT.