Publications by authors named "Joan Bladé"

239 Publications

Efficacy and safety of oral panobinostat plus subcutaneous bortezomib and oral dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (PANORAMA 3): an open-label, randomised, phase 2 study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 01 7;22(1):142-154. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Improved therapeutic options are needed for patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Subcutaneous bortezomib has replaced intravenous bortezomib as it is associated with a more favourable toxicity profile. We investigated the activity and safety of three different dosing regimens of oral panobinostat in combination with subcutaneous bortezomib and oral dexamethasone for this indication.

Methods: PANORAMA 3 is an open-label, randomised, phase 2 study being done at 71 sites (hospitals and medical centres) across 21 countries. Patients aged 18 years or older with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (as per International Myeloma Working Group 2014 criteria), who had received one to four previous lines of therapy (including an immunomodulatory agent), and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or lower, were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive oral panobinostat 20 mg three times weekly, 20 mg twice weekly, or 10 mg three times weekly, plus subcutaneous bortezomib and oral dexamethasone. All study drugs were administered in 21-day cycles. Randomisation was done by an interactive response technology provider, and stratified by number of previous treatment lines and age. The primary endpoint was overall response rate after up to eight treatment cycles (analysed in all randomly assigned patients by intention to treat). Safety analyses included all patients who received at least one dose of any study drug. No statistical comparisons between groups were planned. This trial is ongoing and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02654990.

Findings: Between April 27, 2016, and Jan 17, 2019, 248 patients were randomly assigned (82 to panobinostat 20 mg three times weekly, 83 to panobinostat 20 mg twice weekly, and 83 to 10 mg panobinostat three times weekly). Median duration of follow-up across all treatment groups was 14·7 months (IQR 7·8-24·1). The overall response rate after up to eight treatment cycles was 62·2% (95% CI 50·8-72·7; 51 of 82 patients) for the 20 mg three times weekly group, 65·1% (53·8-75·2; 54 of 83 patients) for the 20 mg twice weekly group, and 50·6% (39·4-61·8; 42 of 83 patients) for the 10 mg three times weekly group. Grade 3-4 adverse events occurred in 71 (91%) of 78 patients in the 20 mg three times weekly group, 69 (83%) of 83 patients in the 20 mg twice weekly group, and 60 (75%) of 80 patients in the 10 mg three times weekly group; the most common (≥20% patients in any group) grade 3-4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (33 [42%] of 78, 26 [31%] of 83, and 19 [24%] of 83 patients) and neutropenia (18 [23%], 13 [16%], and six [8%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 42 (54%) of 78 patients in the 20 mg three times weekly group, 40 (48%) of 83 patients in the 20 mg twice weekly group, and 35 (44%) of 83 patients in the 10 mg three times weekly group; the most common serious adverse event (≥10% patients in any group) was pneumonia (nine [12%] of 78, ten [12%] of 83, and nine [11%] of 80 patients). There were 14 deaths during the study (five [6%] of 78 patients in the 20 mg three times weekly group, three [4%] of 83 in the 20 mg twice weekly group, and six [8%] of 80 in the 10 mg three times weekly group); none of these deaths was deemed treatment related.

Interpretation: The safety profile of panobinostat 20 mg three times weekly was more favourable than in previous trials of this regimen with intravenous bortezomib, suggesting that subcutaneous bortezomib improves the tolerability of the panobinostat plus bortezomib plus dexamethasone regimen. The overall response rate was highest in the 20 mg three times weekly and 20 mg twice weekly groups, with 10 mg three times weekly best tolerated.

Funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Secura Bio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30680-XDOI Listing
January 2021

Melflufen and Dexamethasone in Heavily Pretreated Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 9;39(7):757-767. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Hospital Clínico Universitario de Salamanca/IBSAL/CIC, Salamanca, Spain.

Purpose: Melphalan flufenamide (melflufen) is a first-in-class peptide-drug conjugate that targets aminopeptidases and rapidly and selectively releases alkylating agents into tumor cells. The phase II HORIZON trial evaluated the efficacy of melflufen plus dexamethasone in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), a population with an important unmet medical need.

Patients And Methods: Patients with RRMM refractory to pomalidomide and/or an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody received melflufen 40 mg intravenously on day 1 of each 28-day cycle plus once weekly oral dexamethasone at a dose of 40 mg (20 mg in patients older than 75 years). The primary end point was overall response rate (partial response or better) assessed by the investigator and confirmed by independent review. Secondary end points included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety. The primary analysis is complete with long-term follow-up ongoing.

Results: Of 157 patients (median age 65 years; median five prior lines of therapy) enrolled and treated, 119 patients (76%) had triple-class-refractory disease, 55 (35%) had extramedullary disease, and 92 (59%) were refractory to previous alkylator therapy. The overall response rate was 29% in the all-treated population, with 26% in the triple-class-refractory population. In the all-treated population, median duration of response was 5.5 months, median progression-free survival was 4.2 months, and median overall survival was 11.6 months at a median follow-up of 14 months. Grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 96% of patients, most commonly neutropenia (79%), thrombocytopenia (76%), and anemia (43%). Pneumonia (10%) was the most common grade 3/4 nonhematologic event. Thrombocytopenia and bleeding (both grade 3/4 but fully reversible) occurred concomitantly in four patients. GI events, reported in 97 patients (62%), were predominantly grade 1/2 (93%); none were grade 4.

Conclusion: Melflufen plus dexamethasone showed clinically meaningful efficacy and a manageable safety profile in patients with heavily pretreated RRMM, including those with triple-class-refractory and extramedullary disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02259DOI Listing
March 2021

Pembrolizumab as Consolidation Strategy in Patients with Multiple Myeloma: Results of the GEM-Pembresid Clinical Trial.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 3;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla (IDIVAL), Universidad de Cantabria, 39008 Santander, Spain.

PD1 expression in CD4 and CD8 T cells is increased after treatment in multiple myeloma patients with persistent disease. The GEM-Pembresid trial analyzed the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab as consolidation in patients achieving at least very good partial response but with persistent measurable disease after first- or second-line treatment. Moreover, the characteristics of the immune system were investigated to identify potential biomarkers of response to pembrolizumab. One out of the 17 evaluable patients showed a decrease in the amount of M-protein, although a potential late effect of high-dose melphalan could not be ruled out. Fourteen adverse events were considered related to pembrolizumab, two of which (G3 diarrhea and G2 pneumonitis) prompted treatment discontinuation and all resolving without sequelae. Interestingly, pembrolizumab induced a decrease in the percentage of NK cells at cycle 3, due to the reduction of the circulating and adaptive subsets (0.615 vs. 0.43, = 0.007; 1.12 vs. 0.86, = 0.02). In the early progressors, a significantly lower expression of PD1 in CD8 effector memory T cells (MFI 1327 vs. 926, = 0.03) was observed. In conclusion, pembrolizumab used as consolidation monotherapy shows an acceptable toxicity profile but did not improve responses in this MM patient population. The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov with identifier NCT02636010 and with EUDRACT number 2015-003359-23.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123615DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761692PMC
December 2020

Quantitative expression of Ikaros, IRF4, and PSMD10 proteins predicts survival in VRD-treated patients with multiple myeloma.

Blood Adv 2020 Dec;4(23):6023-6033

Hematology Department, University Hospital of Salamanca, Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

The search for biomarkers based on the mechanism of drug action has not been thoroughly addressed in the therapeutic approaches to multiple myeloma (MM), mainly because of the difficulty in analyzing proteins obtained from purified plasma cells. Here, we investigated the prognostic impact of the expression of 12 proteins involved in the mechanism of action of bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRD), quantified by capillary nanoimmunoassay, in CD138-purified samples from 174 patients with newly diagnosed MM treated according to the PETHEMA/GEM2012 study. A high level of expression of 3 out of 5 proteasome components tested (PSMD1, PSMD4, and PSMD10) negatively influenced survival. The 5 analyzed proteins involved in lenalidomide's mode of action were associated with time to progression (TTP); low levels of cereblon and IRF4 protein and high levels of Ikaros, AGO2, and Aiolos were significantly associated with shorter TTP. Although the glucocorticoid receptor (GCR) level by itself had no significant impact on MM prognosis, a high XPO1 (exportin 1)/GCR ratio was associated with shorter TTP and progression-free survival (PFS). The multivariate Cox model identified high levels of PSMD10 (hazard ratio [HR] TTP, 3.49; P = .036; HR PFS, 5.33; P = .004) and Ikaros (HR TTP, 3.01, P = .014; HR PFS, 2.57; P = .028), and low levels of IRF4 protein expression (HR TTP, 0.33; P = .004; HR PFS, 0.35; P = .004) along with high-risk cytogenetics (HR TTP, 3.13; P < .001; HR PFS, 2.69; P = .002), as independently associated with shorter TTP and PFS. These results highlight the value of assessing proteins related to the mechanism of action of drugs used in MM for predicting treatment outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724915PMC
December 2020

Baseline correlations and prognostic impact of serum monoclonal proteins in follicular lymphoma.

Br J Haematol 2020 Nov 16. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Haematology, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

The presence of a serum monoclonal component has been associated with poor outcomes in some lymphomas. However, data in follicular lymphoma (FL) are scarce. We studied 311 FL patients diagnosed at a single institution, for whom information on serum immunofixation electrophoresis (sIFE) at diagnosis was available. Baseline characteristics and outcomes were compared between patients with a positive (+sIFE) and a negative sIFE (-sIFE). sIFE was positive in 82 patients (26%). Baseline features were comparable between both groups, except for an older age and higher proportion of elevated β -microglobulin levels in the +sIFE group. With a median follow-up of 4.6 years, a +sIFE was associated with a higher risk of early relapse (POD24, 27% vs. 15%, P = 0·02), shorter progression-free survival (PFS; 42% vs. 52% at 5 years, P = 0·008), and shorter overall survival (OS; 59% vs. 77% at 10 years, P = 0·046). In patients >60 years, a +sIFE was an independent predictor of OS [hazard ratio (HR) = 2·4, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1·2-5·0; P = 0·02]. Approximately one quarter of patients with FL has a +sIFE at diagnosis, which is a predictor of poor outcome. These findings encourage further investigation of its relationship with B-cell biology and the tumour microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17138DOI Listing
November 2020

The avoidance of G-CSF and the addition of prophylactic corticosteroids after autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma patients appeal for the at-home setting to reduce readmission for neutropenic fever.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(11):e0241778. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Hematology, Home Care and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains the standard of care for young multiple myeloma (MM) patients; indeed, at-home ASCT has been positioned as an appropriate therapeutic strategy. However, despite the use of prophylactic antibiotics, neutropenic fever (NF) and hospital readmissions continue to pose as the most important limitations in the outpatient setting. It is possible that the febrile episodes may have a non-infectious etiology, and engraftment syndrome could play a more significant role. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of both G-CSF withdrawal and the addition of primary prophylaxis with corticosteroids after ASCT.

Methods: Between January 2002 and August 2018, 111 MM patients conditioned with melphalan were managed at-home beginning +1 day after ASCT. Three groups were established: Group A (n = 33) received standard G-CSF post-ASCT; group B (n = 32) avoided G-CSF post-ASCT; group C (n = 46) avoided G-CSF yet added corticosteroid prophylaxis post-ASCT.

Results: The incidence of NF among the groups was reduced (64%, 44%, and 24%; P<0.001), with a non-significant decrease in hospital readmissions as well (12%, 6%, and 2%; P = 0.07). The most important variables identified for NF were: HCT-CI >2 (OR 6.1; P = 0.002) and G-CSF avoidance plus corticosteroids (OR 0.1; P<0.001); and for hospital readmission: age ≥60 years (OR 14.6; P = 0.04) and G-CSF avoidance plus corticosteroids (OR 0.07; P = 0.05).

Conclusions: G-CSF avoidance and corticosteroid prophylaxis post ASCT minimize the incidence of NF in MM patients undergoing at-home ASCT. This approach should be explored in a prospective randomized clinical trial.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241778PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641449PMC
December 2020

Comparison of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and next-generation flow (NGF) for minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment in multiple myeloma.

Blood Cancer J 2020 10 30;10(10):108. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Departamento de Hematología, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca (HUSA/IBSAL), CIBERONC, CIC-IBMCC (USAL-CSIC), Salamanca, Spain.

Detecting persistent minimal residual disease (MRD) allows the identification of patients with an increased risk of relapse and death. In this study, we have evaluated MRD 3 months after transplantation in 106 myeloma patients using a commercial next-generation sequencing (NGS) strategy (LymphoTrack®), and compared the results with next-generation flow (NGF, EuroFlow). The use of different marrow pulls and the need of concentrating samples for NGS biased the applicability for MRD evaluation and favored NGF. Despite that, correlation between NGS and NGF was high (R = 0.905). The 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates by NGS and NGF were longer for undetectable vs. positive patients (NGS: 88.7% vs. 56.6%; NGF: 91.4% vs. 50%; p < 0.001 for both comparisons), which resulted in a 3-year overall survival (OS) advantage (NGS: 96.2% vs. 77.3%; NGF: 96.6% vs. 74.9%, p < 0.01 for both comparisons). In the Cox regression model, NGS and NGF negativity had similar results but favoring the latter in PFS (HR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.09-0.45, p < 0.001) and OS (HR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06-0.75, p = 0.02). All these results reinforce the role of MRD detection by different strategies in patient prognosis and highlight the use of MRD as an endpoint for multiple myeloma treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00377-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603393PMC
October 2020

Multiple myeloma and SARS-CoV-2 infection: clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of inpatient mortality.

Blood Cancer J 2020 10 19;10(10):103. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigación Medica Aplicada (CIMA), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), CIBER-ONC number CB16/12/00369, Pamplona, Spain.

There is limited information on the characteristics, prognostic factors, and outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) hospitalized with COVID-19. This retrospective case series investigated 167 patients reported from 73 hospitals within the Spanish Myeloma Collaborative Group network in March and April, 2020. Outcomes were compared with 167 randomly selected, contemporary, age-/sex-matched noncancer patients with COVID-19 admitted at six participating hospitals. Among MM and noncancer patients, median age was 71 years, and 57% of patients were male; 75 and 77% of patients, respectively, had at least one comorbidity. COVID-19 clinical severity was moderate-severe in 77 and 89% of patients and critical in 8 and 4%, respectively. Supplemental oxygen was required by 47 and 55% of MM and noncancer patients, respectively, and 21%/9% vs 8%/6% required noninvasive/invasive ventilation. Inpatient mortality was 34 and 23% in MM and noncancer patients, respectively. Among MM patients, inpatient mortality was 41% in males, 42% in patients aged >65 years, 49% in patients with active/progressive MM at hospitalization, and 59% in patients with comorbid renal disease at hospitalization, which were independent prognostic factors on adjusted multivariate analysis. This case series demonstrates the increased risk and identifies predictors of inpatient mortality among MM patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00372-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7570395PMC
October 2020

Melflufen: A Peptide-Drug Conjugate for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Med 2020 Sep 27;9(10). Epub 2020 Sep 27.

Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Despite the availability of new therapies that have led to improved outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma, most patients will eventually relapse. With triplet and even quadruplet combination therapies becoming standard in the first and second line, many patients will have few treatment options after second-line treatment. Melflufen (melphalan flufenamide) is a first-in-class peptide-drug conjugate (PDC) that targets aminopeptidases and rapidly releases alkylating agents into tumor cells. Once inside the tumor cells, melflufen is hydrolyzed by peptidases to release alkylator molecules, which become entrapped. Melflufen showed anti-myeloma activity in myeloma cells that were resistant to bortezomib and the alkylator melphalan. In early phase studies (O-12-M1 and HORIZON [OP-106]), melflufen plus dexamethasone has demonstrated encouraging clinical activity and a manageable safety profile in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including those with triple-class refractory disease and extramedullary disease. The Phase III OCEAN study (OP-104) is further evaluating melflufen plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The safety profile of melflufen is characterized primarily by clinically manageable hematologic adverse events. Melflufen, with its novel mechanism of action, has the potential to provide clinically meaningful benefits to patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including those with high unmet needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7601491PMC
September 2020

Deep MRD profiling defines outcome and unveils different modes of treatment resistance in standard- and high-risk myeloma.

Blood 2021 Jan;137(1):49-60

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigación Medica Aplicada (CIMA), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red-Cáncer (CIBER-ONC) CB16/12/00369, Pamplona, Spain.

Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) carrying standard- or high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) achieve similar complete response (CR) rates, but the later have inferior progression-free survival (PFS). This questions the legitimacy of CR as a treatment endpoint and represents a biological conundrum regarding the nature of tumor reservoirs that persist after therapy in high-risk MM. We used next-generation flow (NGF) cytometry to evaluate measurable residual disease (MRD) in MM patients with standard- vs high-risk CAs (n = 300 and 90, respectively) enrolled in the PETHEMA/GEM2012MENOS65 trial, and to identify mechanisms that determine MRD resistance in both patient subgroups (n = 40). The 36-month PFS rates were higher than 90% in patients with standard- or high-risk CAs achieving undetectable MRD. Persistent MRD resulted in a median PFS of ∼3 and 2 years in patients with standard- and high-risk CAs, respectively. Further use of NGF to isolate MRD, followed by whole-exome sequencing of paired diagnostic and MRD tumor cells, revealed greater clonal selection in patients with standard-risk CAs, higher genomic instability with acquisition of new mutations in high-risk MM, and no unifying genetic event driving MRD resistance. Conversely, RNA sequencing of diagnostic and MRD tumor cells uncovered the selection of MRD clones with singular transcriptional programs and reactive oxygen species-mediated MRD resistance in high-risk MM. Our study supports undetectable MRD as a treatment endpoint for patients with MM who have high-risk CAs and proposes characterizing MRD clones to understand and overcome MRD resistance. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01916252.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020006731DOI Listing
January 2021

Nectin-2 Expression on Malignant Plasma Cells Is Associated with Better Response to TIGIT Blockade in Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Sep 8;26(17):4688-4698. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: T-cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domain (TIGIT) blockade could represent an alternative therapeutic option to release the immune response in patients with multiple myeloma. Here we analyzed the expression of TIGIT and its ligands poliovirus receptor (PVR) and nectin-2 in the bone marrow (BM) of patients with monoclonal gammopathies and the efficacy of TIGIT blockade activating antimyeloma immunity.

Experimental Design: Expression levels of TIGIT and its ligands were characterized by flow cytometry and ELISA. TIGIT blockade was analyzed in functional assays with peripheral T cells. BM cells were studied with NanoString technology, real-time PCR, and patient BM cell models.

Results: TIGIT and its ligands are highly expressed in the BM of patients with multiple myeloma, suggesting that may play a role in restraining immune activation. TIGIT blockade depleted FoxP3 Tregs while increasing proliferation of IFNγ-producing CD4 T cells from patients with multiple myeloma. PVR ligation inhibited CD8 T-cell signaling and cell proliferation which could be overcome with anti-TIGIT mAb. However, BM cells showed a remarkable heterogeneity in immune signature. Accordingly, functional BM assays revealed that only some patients respond to checkpoint blockade. Thus, response to TIGIT blockade correlated with low frequency of TIGIT cells and high nectin-2 expression on malignant plasma cells.

Conclusions: TIGIT blockade efficiently reinvigorated peripheral T cells from patients with multiple myeloma. However, in the BM, the efficacy of blocking anti-TIGIT mAb to achieve tumor cell death may depend on the expression of TIGIT and nectin-2, becoming potential predictive biomarkers for identifying patients who may benefit from TIGIT blockade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3673DOI Listing
September 2020

Filanesib in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in refractory MM patients: safety and efficacy, and association with alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AAG) levels. Phase Ib/II Pomdefil clinical trial conducted by the Spanish MM group.

Br J Haematol 2021 Feb 5;192(3):522-530. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Complejo Asistencial Universitario de Salamanca (IBSAL) y Centro de Investigación del Cáncer (IBMCC-CSIC), Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

This phase I/II trial evaluated the combination of the kinesin spindle protein inhibitor filanesib with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) patients. Forty-seven RRMM patients with a median of three prior lines (2-8) and 94% refractory to lenalidomide were included: 14 in phase I and 33 in phase II. The recommended dose was 1·25 mg/m of filanesib on days 1, 2, 15, 16, with pomalidomide 4 mg on days 1-21 and dexamethasone 40 mg weekly. The defined threshold for success was achieved, with 18 out of 31 patients obtaining at least minor response (MR) in the phase II. In the global population, 51% of patients achieved at least partial response (PR) and 60% ≥MR, resulting in a median progression-free survival (mPFS) of seven months and overall survival (OS) of 19 months. The main toxicity was haematological. Importantly, patients with low serum levels of alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AAG) at baseline (<800 mg/l) had a superior response (overall response rate of 62% vs. 17%; P = 0·04), which also translated into a longer mPFS (9 vs. 2 months; P = 0·014). In summary, filanesib with pomalidomide and dexamethasone is active in RRMM although with significant haematological toxicity. Most importantly, high levels of AAG can identify patients unlikely to respond to this strategy. Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02384083.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16788DOI Listing
February 2021

Challenges in the management of patients with systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Br J Haematol 2020 08 4;190(3):346-357. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

Plasma Cell Dyscrasia Unit, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily manifested as a respiratory tract infection, but may affect and cause complications in multiple organ systems (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, kidneys, haematopoietic and immune systems), while no proven specific therapy exists. The challenges associated with COVID-19 are even greater for patients with light chain (AL) amyloidosis, a rare multisystemic disease affecting the heart, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal and nervous system. Patients with AL amyloidosis may need to receive chemotherapy, which probably increases infection risk. Management of COVID-19 may be particularly challenging in patients with AL amyloidosis, who often present with cardiac dysfunction, nephrotic syndrome, neuropathy, low blood pressure and gastrointestinal symptoms. In addition, patients with AL amyloidosis may be more susceptible to toxicities of drugs used to manage COVID-19. Access to health care may be difficult or limited, diagnosis of AL amyloidosis may be delayed with detrimental consequences and treatment administration may need modification. Both patients and treating physicians need to adapt in a new reality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7300844PMC
August 2020

Circulating tumor cells for comprehensive and multiregional non-invasive genetic characterization of multiple myeloma.

Leukemia 2020 11 1;34(11):3007-3018. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigacion Medica Aplicada (CIMA), Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), Navarra, Spain.

Multiple myeloma (MM) patients undergo repetitive bone marrow (BM) aspirates for genetic characterization. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are detectable in peripheral blood (PB) of virtually all MM cases and are prognostic, but their applicability for noninvasive screening has been poorly investigated. Here, we used next-generation flow (NGF) cytometry to isolate matched CTCs and BM tumor cells from 53 patients and compared their genetic profile. In eight cases, tumor cells from extramedullary (EM) plasmacytomas were also sorted and whole-exome sequencing was performed in the three spatially distributed tumor samples. CTCs were detectable by NGF in the PB of all patients with MM. Based on the cancer cell fraction of clonal and subclonal mutations, we found that ~22% of CTCs egressed from a BM (or EM) site distant from the matched BM aspirate. Concordance between BM tumor cells and CTCs was high for chromosome arm-level copy number alterations (≥95%) though not for translocations (39%). All high-risk genetic abnormalities except one t(4;14) were detected in CTCs whenever present in BM tumor cells. Noteworthy, ≥82% mutations present in BM and EM clones were detectable in CTCs. Altogether, these results support CTCs for noninvasive risk-stratification of MM patients based on their numbers and genetic profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0883-0DOI Listing
November 2020

Complement as the enabler of carfilzomib-induced thrombotic microangiopathy.

Br J Haematol 2020 May 29. Epub 2020 May 29.

Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, Hospital Clinic/University of Barcelona Campus, Barcelona, Spain.

Carfilzomib has been associated with the development of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients, a severe disease with no currently available aetiological treatment. We evaluated the potential role of terminal complement pathway in four patients with carfilzomib-induced TMA. Membrane attack complex (C5b-9) deposition on endothelial cells in culture exposed to plasma from patients during the acute phase of the disease suggests complement overactivation as a mechanism of potential endothelial damage in three out of four patients. If confirmed in larger cohorts, C5b-9 evaluation will allow early identification of patients who could benefit from complement blockade and treatment monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16796DOI Listing
May 2020

Immunogenomic identification and characterization of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in multiple myeloma.

Blood 2020 07;136(2):199-209

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigacion Medica Aplicada (CIMA), Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), CIBER-ONC numbers CB16/12/00369, CB16/12/00489, Pamplona, Spain.

Granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) promote tumor growth and immunosuppression in multiple myeloma (MM). However, their phenotype is not well established for accurate monitoring or clinical translation. We aimed to provide the phenotypic profile of G-MDSCs based on their prognostic significance in MM, immunosuppressive potential, and molecular program. The preestablished phenotype of G-MDSCs was evaluated in bone marrow samples from controls and MM patients using multidimensional flow cytometry; surprisingly, we found that CD11b+CD14-CD15+CD33+HLADR- cells overlapped with common eosinophils and neutrophils, which were not expanded in MM patients. Therefore, we relied on automated clustering to unbiasedly identify all granulocytic subsets in the tumor microenvironment: basophils, eosinophils, and immature, intermediate, and mature neutrophils. In a series of 267 newly diagnosed MM patients (GEM2012MENOS65 trial), only the frequency of mature neutrophils at diagnosis was significantly associated with patient outcome, and a high mature neutrophil/T-cell ratio resulted in inferior progression-free survival (P < .001). Upon fluorescence-activated cell sorting of each neutrophil subset, T-cell proliferation decreased in the presence of mature neutrophils (0.5-fold; P = .016), and the cytotoxic potential of T cells engaged by a BCMA×CD3-bispecific antibody increased notably with the depletion of mature neutrophils (fourfold; P = .0007). Most interestingly, RNA sequencing of the 3 subsets revealed that G-MDSC-related genes were specifically upregulated in mature neutrophils from MM patients vs controls because of differential chromatin accessibility. Taken together, our results establish a correlation between the clinical significance, immunosuppressive potential, and transcriptional network of well-defined neutrophil subsets, providing for the first time a set of optimal markers (CD11b/CD13/CD16) for accurate monitoring of G-MDSCs in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004537DOI Listing
July 2020

Biological and clinical significance of dysplastic hematopoiesis in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2020 06;135(26):2375-2387

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigacion Medica Aplicada (CIMA), Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer (CIBER-ONC), Pamplona, Spain.

Risk of developing myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is significantly increased in both multiple myeloma (MM) and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, suggesting that it is therapy independent. However, the incidence and sequelae of dysplastic hematopoiesis at diagnosis are unknown. Here, we used multidimensional flow cytometry (MFC) to prospectively screen for the presence of MDS-associated phenotypic alterations (MDS-PA) in the bone marrow of 285 patients with MM enrolled in the PETHEMA/GEM2012MENOS65 trial (#NCT01916252). We investigated the clinical significance of monocytic MDS-PA in a larger series of 1252 patients enrolled in 4 PETHEMA/GEM protocols. At diagnosis, 33 (11.6%) of 285 cases displayed MDS-PA. Bulk and single-cell-targeted sequencing of MDS recurrently mutated genes in CD34+ progenitors (and dysplastic lineages) from 67 patients revealed clonal hematopoiesis in 13 (50%) of 26 cases with MDS-PA vs 9 (22%) of 41 without MDS-PA; TET2 and NRAS were the most frequently mutated genes. Dynamics of MDS-PA at diagnosis and after autologous transplant were evaluated in 86 of 285 patients and showed that in most cases (69 of 86 [80%]), MDS-PA either persisted or remained absent in patients with or without MDS-PA at diagnosis, respectively. Noteworthy, MDS-associated mutations infrequently emerged after high-dose therapy. Based on MFC profiling, patients with MDS-PA have altered hematopoiesis and T regulatory cell distribution in the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, the presence of monocytic MDS-PA at diagnosis anticipated greater risk of hematologic toxicity and was independently associated with inferior progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.5; P = .02) and overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.7; P = .01). This study reveals the biological and clinical significance of dysplastic hematopoiesis in newly diagnosed MM, which can be screened with moderate sensitivity using cost-effective MFC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019003382DOI Listing
June 2020

Long-term survival of 1338 MM patients treated with tandem autologous vs. autologous-allogeneic transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 09 14;55(9):1810-1816. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

Contrary to tandem autologous transplant (auto-auto), autologous followed by reduced intensity conditioning allogenic transplantation (auto-allo) offers graft-versus-myeloma (GVM) effect but with higher toxicity. Trials comparing these two strategies relied on availability of HLA-matched sibling donors for arm allocation (biological randomization) and yielded conflicting results. A pooled analysis of multiple trials with extended follow up provides an opportunity to compare these strategies. We obtained individual patient data from participants of four trials comparing auto-auto vs. auto-allo after induction therapy. There were 899 patients in auto-auto and 439 in auto-allo. Median follow up of survivors was 118.5 months. Median overall survival (OS) was 78.0 months in auto-auto and 98.3 months in auto-allo (HR = 0.84, P = 0.02). OS was 36.4% vs. 44.1% at 10 years (P = 0.01) for auto-auto and auto-allo, respectively. Progression-free survival was also improved in auto-allo (HR = 0.84, P = 0.004). Risk of non-relapse mortality was higher in auto-allo (10 year 8.3% vs. 19.7%, P < 0.001), while risk of disease progression was higher in auto-auto (10 year 77.2% vs. 61.6%, P < 0.001). Median post relapse survival was 41.5 months in auto-auto and 62.3 months in auto-allo (HR = 0.71, P < 0.001). This supports the existence of durable GVM effect enhancing myeloma control with subsequent therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0887-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483973PMC
September 2020

Supportive Care in AL Amyloidosis.

Acta Haematol 2020 1;143(4):335-342. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Hematology Department, Amyloidosis and Myeloma Unit, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

Immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is a systemic disease characterized by the production and deposition of light chain-derived amyloid fibrils in different organs. Prompt treatment directed to the underlying plasma cell clone is crucial in order to achieve a rapid, deep and durable hematologic response. The decrease in the production of the amyloidogenic light chains is a required condition to obtain the organ response, which is commonly delayed. Meanwhile, supportive treatment is aimed to maintain quality of life of these patients and preserve their involved organs' function. From simple measures, such as salt restriction or compressive stockings, to very complex interventions, such as heart transplantation in very selected patients with isolated severe cardiac involvement, this supportive care is essential and has to be necessarily included in the multidisciplinary management of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000506760DOI Listing
September 2020

The renal range of the κ/λ sFLC ratio: best strategy to evaluate multiple myeloma in patients with chronic kidney disease.

BMC Nephrol 2020 03 31;21(1):111. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Nephrology and Renal Transplantation Department, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Monoclonal serum free light chains (sFLC) are a well-known cause of renal impairment (RI) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). As an indicator of monoclonality, sFLC ratio has acquired a key role in the diagnosis and monitorization of the disease. However, its interpretation is altered in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This study aims to evaluate the modification of the sFLC ratio reference range in patients with CKD, and propose an optimal range for patients with CKD.

Methods: Serum FLC κ/λ ratio and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were retrospectively analyzed in 113 control patients (without hematologic disease), 63 patients with MM in complete remission and 347 patients with active MM. The three groups included patients with CKD (eGFR < 90).

Results: In the group of patients without active MM (n = 176), the sFLC ratio increased at different stages of CKD without pathological significance, with an increase in the number of false positives specially when eGFR is ≤55 ml/min. An optimal range was established for patients with eGFR ≤55 ml/min/1.73 m2: 0.82-3,6 with maximum sensitivity + specificity for that group with an improvement in the Area under the curve (AUC), 0.91 (0.84-0.97) compared with the current ranges proposed by Katzmann and Hutchinson.

Conclusions: This study confirms the influence of eGFR on the interpretation of the sFLC ratio, showing a decreasing specificity in progressive CKD stages when using the reference sFLC range (Katzmann), especially in patients with eFGR ≤55. According to our results, we suggest a modified optimal range (0.82-3,6) for eGFR ≤55 ml/min/1.73 m2. It is necessary to validate this modified range in larger and prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-020-01771-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7110749PMC
March 2020

Subcutaneous versus intravenous daratumumab in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (COLUMBA): a multicentre, open-label, non-inferiority, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2020 May 23;7(5):e370-e380. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Levine Cancer Institute-Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Intravenous daratumumab for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma involves a lengthy infusion that affects quality of life, and infusion-related reactions are common. Subcutaneous daratumumab is thought to be easier to administer and to cause fewer administration-related reactions. In this study (COLUMBA), we tested the non-inferiority of subcutaneous daratumumab to intravenous daratumumab.

Methods: In this ongoing, multicentre (147 sites in 18 countries), open-label, non-inferiority, randomised, phase 3 trial, we recruited adult patients (age ≥18 years) if they had confirmed relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma according to International Myeloma Working Group criteria; received at least three previous lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulatory drug, or were double refractory to both a proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulatory drug; and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 2 or lower. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by a computer-generated randomisation schedule and balanced using randomly permuted blocks to receive daratumumab subcutaneously (subcutaneous group) or intravenously (intravenous group). Randomisation was stratified on the basis of baseline bodyweight (≤65 kg, 66-85 kg, >85 kg), previous therapy lines (≤four vs >four), and myeloma type (IgG vs non-IgG). Patients received 1800 mg of subcutaneous daratumumab co-formulated with 2000 U/mL recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 or 16 mg/kg of intravenous daratumumab once weekly (cycles 1-2), every 2 weeks (cycles 3-6), and every 4 weeks thereafter (28-day cycles) until progressive disease or toxicity. The co-primary endpoints were overall response and maximum trough concentration (C; cycle 3, day 1 pre-dose). The non-inferiority margin for overall response was defined using a 60% retention of the lower bound (20·8%) of the 95% CI of the SIRIUS trial. Efficacy analyses were done by intention-to-treat population. The pharmacokinetic-evaluable population included all patients who received all eight weekly daratumumab doses in cycles 1 and 2 and provided a pre-dose pharmacokinetics blood sample on day 1 of cycle 3. The safety population included all patients who received at least one daratumumab dose. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03277105.

Findings: Between Oct 31, 2017, and Dec 27, 2018, 655 patients were screened, of whom 522 were recruited and randomly assigned (subcutaneous group n=263; intravenous group n=259). Three patients in the subcutaneous group and one in the intravenous group did not receive treatment and were not evaluable for safety. At a median follow-up of 7·5 months (IQR 6·5-9·3), overall response and C met the predefined non-inferiority criteria. An overall response was seen in 108 (41%) of 263 patients in the subcutaneous group and 96 (37%) of 259 in the intravenous group (relative risk 1·11, 95% CI 0·89-1·37). The geometric means ratio for C was 107·93% (90% CI 95·74-121·67), and the maximum C was 593 μg/mL (SD 306) in the subcutaneous group and 522 μg/mL (226) in the intravenous group. The most common grade 3 and 4 adverse events were anaemia (34 [13%] of 260 patients evaluable for safety in the subcutaneous group and 36 [14%] of 258 patients in the intravenous group), neutropenia (34 [13%] and 20 [8%]), and thrombocytopenia (36 [14%] and 35 [14%]). Pneumonia was the only serious adverse event in more than 2% of patients (seven [3%] in the subcutaneous group and 11 [4%] in the intravenous group). There was one death resulting from a treatment-related adverse event in the subcutaneous daratumumab group (febrile neutropenia) and four in the intravenous group (sepsis [n=2], hepatitis B reactivation [n=1], and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [n=1]).

Interpretation: Subcutaneous daratumumab was non-inferior to intravenous daratumumab in terms of efficacy and pharmacokinetics and had an improved safety profile in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. These data could contribute to the approval of the subcutaneous daratumumab formulation by regulatory bodies.

Funding: Janssen Research & Development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30070-3DOI Listing
May 2020

Split First Dose Administration of Intravenous Daratumumab for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma (MM): Clinical and Population Pharmacokinetic Analyses.

Adv Ther 2020 04 20;37(4):1464-1478. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Spring House, PA, USA.

Introduction: Daratumumab, a human immunoglobulin Gκ monoclonal antibody targeting CD38, is approved as monotherapy and in combination with standard-of-care regimens for multiple myeloma. In clinical studies, the median durations of the first, second, and subsequent intravenous infusions of daratumumab were 7.0, 4.3, and 3.4 h, respectively. Splitting the first intravenous infusion of daratumumab over 2 days is an approved alternative dosing regimen to reduce the duration of the first infusion and provide flexibility for patients and healthcare providers.

Methods: The feasibility of splitting the first 16-mg/kg infusion into two separate infusions of 8 mg/kg on Days 1 and 2 of the first treatment cycle was investigated in two cohorts [daratumumab, carfilzomib, and dexamethasone (D-Kd) and daratumumab, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (D-KRd)] of the phase 1b MMY1001 study. Additionally, a population pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis and simulations were used to compare the PK profiles of the split first dose regimen with the recommended single first dose regimens of daratumumab in previously approved indications.

Results: In MMY1001, following administration of the second half of a split first dose on Cycle 1 Day 2, postinfusion median (range) daratumumab concentrations were similar between split first dose [D-Kd, 254.9 (125.8-435.5) µg/ml; D-KRd, 277.2 (164.0-341.8) µg/ml; combined, 256.8 (125.8-435.5) µg/ml] and single first dose [D-Kd, 319.2 (237.5-394.7) µg/ml]. At the end of weekly dosing, median (range) Cycle 3 Day 1 preinfusion daratumumab concentrations were similar between split first dose [D-Kd, 663.9 (57.7-1110.7) µg/ml; D-KRd, 575.1 (237.9-825.5) µg/ml; combined, 639.2 (57.7-1110.7) µg/ml] and single first dose [D-Kd, 463.2 (355.9-792.9) µg/ml]. The population PK simulations demonstrated virtually identical PK profiles after the first day of treatment for all approved indications and recommended dosing schedules of daratumumab.

Conclusion: These data support the use of an alternative split first dose regimen of intravenous daratumumab for the treatment of MM.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01998971.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01247-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7140755PMC
April 2020

Developments in continuous therapy and maintenance treatment approaches for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood Cancer J 2020 02 13;10(2):17. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

The evolving paradigm of continuous therapy and maintenance treatment approaches in multiple myeloma (MM) offers prolonged disease control and improved outcomes compared to traditional fixed-duration approaches. Potential benefits of long-term strategies include sustained control of disease symptoms, as well as continued cytoreduction and clonal control, leading to unmeasurable residual disease and the possibility of transforming MM into a chronic or functionally curable condition. "Continuous therapy" commonly refers to administering a doublet or triplet regimen until disease progression, whereas maintenance approaches typically involve single-agent or doublet treatment following more intensive prior therapy with autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or doublet, triplet, or even quadruplet induction therapy. However, the requirements for agents and regimens within these contexts are similar: treatments must be tolerable for a prolonged period of time, should not be associated with cumulative or chronic toxicity, should not adversely affect patients' quality of life, should ideally be convenient with a minimal treatment burden for patients, and should not impact the feasibility or efficacy of subsequent treatment at relapse. Multiple agents have been and are being investigated as long-term options in the treatment of newly diagnosed MM (NDMM), including the immunomodulatory drugs lenalidomide and thalidomide, the proteasome inhibitors bortezomib, carfilzomib, and ixazomib, and the monoclonal antibodies daratumumab, elotuzumab, and isatuximab. Here we review the latest results with long-term therapy approaches in three different settings in NDMM: (1) maintenance treatment post ASCT; (2) continuous frontline therapy in nontransplant patients; (3) maintenance treatment post-frontline therapy in the nontransplant setting. We also discuss evidence from key phase 3 trials. Our review demonstrates how the paradigm of long-term treatment is increasingly well-established across NDMM treatment settings, potentially resulting in further improvements in patient outcomes, and highlights key clinical issues that will need to be addressed in order to provide optimal benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-0273-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018731PMC
February 2020

Molecular profiling of immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements unveils new potential prognostic markers for multiple myeloma patients.

Blood Cancer J 2020 02 6;10(2):14. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Hospital Universitario de Salamanca (HUSAL), IBSAL, IBMCC (USAL-CSIC), CIBERONC, Salamanca, Spain.

Multiple myeloma is a heterogeneous disease whose pathogenesis has not been completely elucidated. Although B-cell receptors play a crucial role in myeloma pathogenesis, the impact of clonal immunoglobulin heavy-chain features in the outcome has not been extensively explored. Here we present the characterization of complete heavy-chain gene rearrangements in 413 myeloma patients treated in Spanish trials, including 113 patients characterized by next-generation sequencing. Compared to the normal B-cell repertoire, gene selection was biased in myeloma, with significant overrepresentation of IGHV3, IGHD2 and IGHD3, as well as IGHJ4 gene groups. Hypermutation was high in our patients (median: 8.8%). Interestingly, regarding patients who are not candidates for transplantation, a high hypermutation rate (≥7%) and the use of IGHD2 and IGHD3 groups were associated with improved prognostic features and longer survival rates in the univariate analyses. Multivariate analysis revealed prolonged progression-free survival rates for patients using IGHD2/IGHD3 groups (HR: 0.552, 95% CI: 0.361-0.845, p = 0.006), as well as prolonged overall survival rates for patients with hypermutation ≥7% (HR: 0.291, 95% CI: 0.137-0.618, p = 0.001). Our results provide new insights into the molecular characterization of multiple myeloma, highlighting the need to evaluate some of these clonal rearrangement characteristics as new potential prognostic markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-0283-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7004993PMC
February 2020

Overall survival with daratumumab, bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (ALCYONE): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2020 01 10;395(10218):132-141. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada (CIMA), Universidad de Navarra, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra (IDISNA), Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Oncología (CIBERONC), Pamplona, Spain.

Background: Standard-of-care treatment for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma includes combination therapies for patients who are not eligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. At the primary analysis for progression-free survival of the phase 3 ALCYONE trial, progression-free survival was significantly longer with daratumumab in combination with bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (D-VMP) versus bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) alone in patients with transplant-ineligible, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Here we report updated efficacy and safety results from a prespecified, interim, overall survival analysis of ALCYONE with more than 36 months of follow-up.

Methods: ALCYONE was a multicentre, randomised, open-label, active-controlled, phase 3 trial that enrolled patients between Feb 9, 2015, and July 14, 2016, at 162 sites in 25 countries across North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they had newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and were ineligible for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell transplantation, because of their age (≥65 years) or because of substantial comorbidities. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio and by permuted block randomisation to receive D-VMP or VMP. An interactive web-based randomisation system was used. Randomisation was stratified by International Staging System disease stage, geographical region, and age. There was no masking to treatment assignments. All patients received up to nine 6-week cycles of subcutaneous bortezomib (1·3 mg/m of body surface area on days 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29, and 32 of cycle one and on days 1, 8, 22, and 29 of cycles two through nine), oral melphalan (9 mg/m once daily on days 1 through 4 of each cycle), and oral prednisone (60 mg/m once daily on days 1 through 4 of each cycle). Patients in the D-VMP group also received intravenous daratumumab (16 mg/kg of bodyweight, once weekly during cycle one, once every 3 weeks in cycles two through nine, and once every 4 weeks thereafter as maintenance therapy until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, which has been reported previously. Results presented are from a prespecified interim analysis for overall survival. The primary analysis population (including for overall survival) was the intention-to-treat population of all patients who were randomly assigned to treatment. The safety population included patients who received any dose of study treatment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02195479.

Findings: 706 patients were randomly assigned to treatment groups (350 to the D-VMP group, 356 to the VMP group). At a median follow-up of 40·1 months (IQR 37·4-43·1), a significant benefit in overall survival was observed for the D-VMP group. The hazard ratio (HR) for death in the D-VMP group compared with the VMP group was 0·60 (95% CI 0·46-0·80; p=0·0003). The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the 36-month rate of overall survival was 78·0% (95% CI 73·2-82·0) in the D-VMP group and 67·9% (62·6-72·6) in the VMP group. Progression-free survival, the primary endpoint, remained significantly improved for the D-VMP group (HR 0·42 [0·34-0·51]; p<0·0001). The most frequent adverse events during maintenance daratumumab monotherapy in patients in the D-VMP group were respiratory infections (54 [19%] of 278 patients had upper respiratory tract infections; 42 [15%] had bronchitis, 34 [12%] had viral upper respiratory tract infections), cough (34 [12%]), and diarrhoea (28 [10%]).

Interpretation: D-VMP prolonged overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for stem-cell transplantation. With more than 3 years of follow-up, the D-VMP group continued to show significant improvement in progression-free survival, with no new safety concerns.

Funding: Janssen Research & Development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32956-3DOI Listing
January 2020

Measurable Residual Disease by Next-Generation Flow Cytometry in Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2020 03 26;38(8):784-792. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: Assessing measurable residual disease (MRD) has become standard with many tumors, but the clinical meaning of MRD in multiple myeloma (MM) remains uncertain, particularly when assessed by next-generation flow (NGF) cytometry. Thus, we aimed to determine the applicability and sensitivity of the flow MRD-negative criterion defined by the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG).

Patients And Methods: In the PETHEMA/GEM2012MENOS65 trial, 458 patients with newly diagnosed MM had longitudinal assessment of MRD after six induction cycles with bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRD), autologous transplantation, and two consolidation courses with VRD. MRD was assessed in 1,100 bone marrow samples from 397 patients; the 61 patients without MRD data discontinued treatment during induction and were considered MRD positive for intent-to-treat analysis. The median limit of detection achieved by NGF was 2.9 × 10. Patients received maintenance (lenalidomide ± ixazomib) according to the companion PETHEMA/GEM2014MAIN trial.

Results: Overall, 205 (45%) of 458 patients had undetectable MRD after consolidation, and only 14 of them (7%) have experienced progression thus far; seven of these 14 displayed extraosseous plasmacytomas at diagnosis and/or relapse. Using time-dependent analysis, patients with undetectable MRD had an 82% reduction in the risk of progression or death (hazard ratio, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.30; < .001) and an 88% reduction in the risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.29; < .001). Timing of undetectable MRD (after induction intensification) had no impact on patient survival. Attaining undetectable MRD overcame poor prognostic features at diagnosis, including high-risk cytogenetics. By contrast, patients with Revised International Staging System III status and positive MRD had dismal progression-free and overall survivals (median, 14 and 17 months, respectively). Maintenance increased the rate of undetectable MRD by 17%.

Conclusion: The IMWG flow MRD-negative response criterion is highly applicable and sensitive to evaluate treatment efficacy in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01231DOI Listing
March 2020

Insights on Multiple Myeloma Treatment Strategies.

Hemasphere 2019 Feb 27;3(1):e163. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Department of Hematology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The introduction of new agents and management strategies over the past decade has resulted in a major step change in treatment outcomes with deepening responses and increased survival for patients with multiple myeloma. In daily clinical practice, healthcare professionals are now faced with challenges including, optimal treatment sequencing and changing treatment goals. In light of this, a group of experts met to discuss diagnostic and treatment guidelines, examine current clinical practice, and consider how new clinical trial data may be integrated into the management of multiple myeloma in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6745941PMC
February 2019

Bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone as induction therapy prior to autologous transplant in multiple myeloma.

Blood 2019 10;134(16):1337-1345

Hospital Clínic, Institut d'investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain.

Achieving and maintaining a high-quality response is the treatment goal for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM). The phase 3 PETHEMA/GEM2012 study, in 458 patients aged ≤65 years with NDMM, is evaluating bortezomib (subcutaneous) + lenalidomide + dexamethasone (VRD) for 6 cycles followed by autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) conditioned with IV busulfan + melphalan vs melphalan and posttransplant consolidation with 2 cycles of VRD. We present grouped response analysis of induction, transplant, and consolidation. Responses deepened over time; in patients who initiated cycle 6 of induction (n = 426), the rates of a very good partial response or better were 55.6% by cycle 3, 63.8% by cycle 4, 68.3% by cycle 5, and 70.4% after induction. The complete response rate of 33.4% after induction in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population, which was similar in the 92 patients with high-risk cytogenetics (34.8%), also deepened with further treatment (44.1% after ASCT and 50.2% after consolidation). Rates of undetectable minimal residual disease (median 3 × 10-6 sensitivity) in the ITT population also increased from induction (28.8%) to transplant (42.1%) and consolidation (45.2%). The most common grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events during induction were neutropenia (12.9%) and infection (9.2%). Grade ≥2 peripheral neuropathy (grouped term) during induction was 17.0%, with a low frequency of grade 3 (3.7%) and grade 4 (0.2%) events. VRD is an effective and well-tolerated regimen for induction in NDMM with deepening response throughout induction and over the course of treatment. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01916252 and EudraCT as #2012-005683-10.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888142PMC
October 2019

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for multiple myeloma: a consensus statement from The European Myeloma Network.

Haematologica 2019 12 22;104(12):2358-2360. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany.

Adoptive cellular therapy using chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART) therapy is currently being evaluated in patients with relapsed / refractory multiple myeloma (MM). The majority of CAR-T cell programs now being tested in clinical trials are targeting B-cell maturation antigen. Several recent phase I / II trials show promising preliminary results in patients with MM progressing on proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs and monoclonal antibodies targeting CD38. CAR-T cell therapy is a potentially life-threatening strategy that can only be administered in experienced centers. For the moment, CAR-T cell therapy for MM is still experimental, but once this strategy has been approved in relapsed/refractory MM, it will become one of the most important indications for this therapy in Europe and world-wide. This manuscript proposes practical considerations for the use of CAR-T cell therapy in MM, and discusses several important issues for its future development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.224204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959167PMC
December 2019