Publications by authors named "Sagar Lonial"

351 Publications

Keeping Myeloma in Check: The Past, Present and Future of Immunotherapy in Multiple Myeloma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Sep 24;13(19). Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable disease of malignant plasma cells and an ideal target for modern immune therapy. The unique plasma cell biology maintained in multiple myeloma, coupled with its hematological nature and unique bone marrow microenvironment, provide an opportunity to design specifically targeted immunotherapies that selectively kill transformed cells with limited on-target off-tumor effects. Broadly defined, immune therapy is the utilization of the immune system and immune agents to treat a disease. In the context of multiple myeloma, immune therapy can be subdivided into four main categories: immune modulatory imide drugs, targeted antibodies, adoptive cell transfer therapies, and vaccines. In recent years, advances in all four of these categories have led to improved therapies with enhanced antitumor activity and specificity. In IMiDs, modified chemical structures have been developed that improve drug potency while reducing dose limiting side effects. Targeted antibody therapies have resulted from the development of new selectively expressed targets as well as the development of antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies. Adoptive cell therapies, particularly CAR-T therapies, have been enhanced through improvements in the manufacturing process, as well as through the development of CAR constructs that enhance CAR-T activation and provide protection from a suppressive immune microenvironment. This review will first cover in-class breakthrough therapies for each of these categories, as well as therapies currently utilized in the clinic. Additionally, this review will explore up and coming therapeutics in the preclinical and clinical trial stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13194787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507631PMC
September 2021

Benefits of autologous stem cell transplant for elderly myeloma patients in the last quarter of life.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

1365 Clifton Road Suite 4120B, Atlanta, GA 30322. Electronic address:

Background: Though survival outcomes have improved dramatically over the last few decades in newly diagnosed myeloma patients, elderly patients have not yielded the same magnitude of benefit as evidenced by higher rates of reported myeloma-related deaths in patients over the age of 75. This is of particularly importance given this cohort comprises a large proportion of myeloma patients with the median age of diagnosis being 70 years. One contributor to this discrepancy is reduced utilization of high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant (HDT/ASCT) in this population due to concerns for increased toxicity and safety.

Objectives: The objective of this retrospective analysis is to evaluate survival and safety outcomes in 53 newly diagnosed patients ≥ 74 years of age that underwent HDT/ASCT at our institution in comparison to 122 control patients in the same age bracket that did not undergo stem cell transplant during this same time period.

Study Design: Patient treated at our institution were identified in our institutional myeloma database by age. They were all treated between November 2006 and October 2016 at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. 53 patients were identified that had undergone HDT/ASCT, and to assess the relative benefit of ASCT, 122 control patients in the same age range were also identified that did not undergo HDT/ASCT during the same time period.

Results: The median age for the entire cohort was 77 years (74 years in the ASCT group vs 78 in the non-ASCT group). Median time to ASCT was 6 months (range, 2-57 months). There were no gender or race differences between the two groups, though a higher proportion of high-risk patients underwent HDT/ASCT. 93% of ASCT patients received triplet induction therapy with a PI+IMID backbone in comparison to only 55% of patients the non-ASCT group. The median PFS for the ASCT group was 50 months versus 30 months in the non-ASCT group. The median OS was 80 months vs 40 months, respectively. In high-risk patients, the median PFS was 60.8 months and the median OS was 77.8 months in the ASCT group compared to 26 months and 38 months in the non-ASCT group, respectively. There were no transplant-related deaths within the first 100 days in the ASCT group.

Conclusion: This study offers real world perspective and data on the safety and survival benefit of ASCT in the elderly population with a near doubling of overall survival when compared to those treated with similar regimens and modern agents without ASCT. This data provides rational for offering ASCT in elderly patients pending a thorough pre-transplant evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.09.024DOI Listing
October 2021

Indatuximab ravtansine plus dexamethasone with lenalidomide or pomalidomide in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: a multicentre, phase 1/2a study.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Sep 13. Epub 2021 Sep 13.

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

Background: Indatuximab ravtansine (BT062) is an antibody-drug conjugate that binds to CD138 and synergistically enhances the antitumor activity of lenalidomide in preclinical models of multiple myeloma. This phase 1/2a study was done to determine the safety, activity, and pharmacokinetics of indatuximab ravtansine in combination with immunomodulatory drugs in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Methods: This open-label, phase 1/2a study took place at nine hospital sites in the USA. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, and ECOG performance status or Zubrod score of 2 or below. Patients who received indatuximab ravtansine with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide) had failure of at least one previous therapy. Patients treated with indatuximab ravtansine with pomalidomide and dexamethasone (indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide) had failure of at least two previous therapies (including lenalidomide and bortezomib) and had progressive disease on or within 60 days of completion of their last treatment. In phase 1, patients received indatuximab ravtansine intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle in escalating dose levels of 80 mg/m, 100 mg/m, and 120 mg/m, with lenalidomide (25 mg; days 1 to 21 every 28 days orally) and dexamethasone (20-40 mg; days 1, 8, 15, and 22 every 28 days). In phase 2, the recommended phase 2 dose of indatuximab ravtansine was given to an expanded cohort of patients in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone. The protocol was amended to allow additional patients to be treated with indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide (4 mg; days 1 to 21 every 28 days orally) and dexamethasone, in a more heavily pretreated patient population than in the indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide group. The phase 1 primary endpoint was to determine the dose-limiting toxicities and the maximum tolerated dose (recommended phase 2 dose) of indatuximab ravtansine, and the phase 2 primary endpoint was to describe the objective response rate (ORR; partial response or better) and clinical benefit response (ORR plus minor response). All patients were analysed for safety and all patients with post-treatment response assessments were analysed for activity. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01638936, and is complete.

Findings: 64 (86%) of 74 screened patients were enrolled between July 3, 2012, and June 30, 2015. 47 (73%) patients received indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide (median follow-up 24·2 months [IQR 19·9-45·4]) and 17 (27%) received indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide (24·1 months [17·7-36·7]). The maximum tolerated dose of indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide was 100 mg/m, and defined as the recommended phase 2 dose for indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide. An objective response for indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide was observed in 33 (71·7%) of 46 patients and in 12 (70·6%) of 17 patients in the indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide group. The clinical benefit response for indatuximab ravtansine plus lenalidomide was 85% (39 of 46 patients) and for indatuximab ravtansine plus pomalidomide it was 88% (15 of 17 patients). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events in both groups were neutropenia (14 [22%] of 64 patients), anaemia (10 [16%]), and thrombocytopenia (seven [11%]). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) that led to discontinuation occurred in 35 (55%) of the 64 patients. Five (8%) patients with a TEAE had a fatal outcome; none was reported as related to indatuximab ravtansine.

Interpretation: Indatuximab ravtansine in combination with immunomodulatory drugs shows preliminary antitumor activity, is tolerated, and could be further evaluated in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Funding: Biotest AG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00208-8DOI Listing
September 2021

Novel Approaches to Treating Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma with a Focus on Recent Approvals of Belantamab Mafodotin and Selinexor.

Clin Pharmacol 2021 18;13:169-180. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Though survival outcomes in multiple myeloma patients have improved drastically over the past few decades, there still remains an ongoing need for effective and tolerable treatment options in the relapsed and refractory space. Encouragingly, there have been three recent FDA approvals for triple-class refractory multiple myeloma, and there is promising ongoing development of additional agents with varying novel mechanisms of action. Here, we will review the most recent data on both belantamab mafodotin, an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) targeting BCMA, and selinexor, a first-in-class selective inhibitor of XPO1, as well as touch on some of the recently published data for other immunotherapies in development, namely bispecific T cell engagers, ADCs, and CAR-T cell therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CPAA.S288840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380622PMC
August 2021

"I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference": Making a case for high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation in elderly patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Cancer 2021 Aug 10. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Lay Summary: Elderly patients with myeloma derive benefits from transplantation similar to those for younger patients. Age should not be the sole criterion for determining transplant eligibility. Performance status assessment and other tools for assessing comorbidities such as the Charlson comorbidity score may potentially help in determining transplant eligibility and will allow us to move away from our heavy reliance on numerical age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33825DOI Listing
August 2021

Minimal Residual Disease in Myeloma: Application for Clinical Care and New Drug Registration.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Departamento de Hematologia, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca.

The development of novel agents has transformed the treatment paradigm for multiple myeloma (MM), with minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity now achievable across the entire disease spectrum. Bone marrow-based technologies to assess MRD, including approaches using next-generation flow and next-generation sequencing, have provided real-time clinical tools for the sensitive detection and monitoring of MRD in MM patients. Complementary liquid biopsy-based assays are now quickly progressing with some, such as mass spectrometry methods, being very close to clinical use, while others utilizing nucleic acid-based technologies are still developing and will prove important to further our understanding of the biology of MRD. On the regulatory front, multiple retrospective individual patient and clinical trial level meta-analyses have already shown and will continue to assess the potential of MRD as a surrogate for patient outcome. Given all this progress, it is not surprising that a number of clinicians are now considering using MRD to inform real world clinical care of patients across the spectrum from smoldering myeloma to relapsed refractory MM, with each disease setting presenting key challenges and questions that will need to be addressed through clinical trials. The pace of advances in targeted and immune therapies in MM is unprecedented, and novel MRD-driven biomarker strategies are essential to accelerate innovative clinical trials leading to regulatory approval of novel treatments and continued improvement in patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1059DOI Listing
July 2021

Longer term outcomes with single-agent belantamab mafodotin in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: 13-month follow-up from the pivotal DREAMM-2 study.

Cancer 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: On the basis of the DREAMM-2 study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03525678), single-agent belantamab mafodotin (belamaf) was approved for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who received ≥4 prior therapies, including anti-CD38 therapy. The authors investigated longer term efficacy and safety outcomes in DREAMM-2 after 13 months of follow-up among patients who received belamaf 2.5 mg/kg.

Methods: DREAMM-2 is an ongoing, phase 2, open-label, 2-arm study investigating belamaf (2.5 or 3.4 mg/kg) in patients with RRMM who had disease progression after ≥3 lines of therapy and were refractory to immunomodulatory drugs and proteasome inhibitors and refractory and/or intolerant to an anti-CD38 therapy. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients that achieved an overall response, assessed by an independent review committee.

Results: As of January 31, 2020, 10% of patients still received belamaf 2.5 mg/kg. Thirty-one of 97 patients (32%; 97.5% confidence interval [CI], 21.7%-43.6%) achieved an overall response, and 18 responders achieved a very good partial response or better. Median estimated duration of response, overall survival, and progression-free survival were 11.0 months (95% CI, 4.2 months to not reached), 13.7 months (95% CI, 9.9 months to not reached), and 2.8 months (95% CI, 1.6-3.6 months), respectively. Response and survival outcomes in patients who had high-risk cytogenetics or renal impairment were consistent with outcomes in the overall population. Outcomes were poorer in patients with extramedullary disease. In patients who had a clinical response and prolonged dose delays (>63 days; mainly because of corneal events), 88% maintained or deepened responses during their first prolonged dose delay. Overall, there were no new safety signals during this follow-up.

Conclusions: Extended follow-up confirms sustained clinical activity without new safety signals with belamaf in this heavily pretreated patient population with RRMM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33809DOI Listing
July 2021

Lysine acetylation restricts mutant IDH2 activity to optimize transformation in AML cells.

Mol Cell 2021 09 20;81(18):3833-3847.e11. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; Section of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Electronic address:

Mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2 play a pathogenic role in cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), by producing oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). We recently reported that tyrosine phosphorylation activates IDH1 R132H mutant in AML cells. Here, we show that mutant IDH2 (mIDH2) R140Q commonly has K413 acetylation, which negatively regulates mIDH2 activity in human AML cells by attenuating dimerization and blocking binding of substrate (α-ketoglutarate) and cofactor (NADPH). Mechanistically, K413 acetylation of mitochondrial mIDH2 is achieved through a series of hierarchical phosphorylation events mediated by tyrosine kinase FLT3, which phosphorylates mIDH2 to recruit upstream mitochondrial acetyltransferase ACAT1 and simultaneously activates ACAT1 and inhibits upstream mitochondrial deacetylase SIRT3 through tyrosine phosphorylation. Moreover, we found that the intrinsic enzyme activity of mIDH2 is much higher than mIDH1, thus the inhibitory K413 acetylation optimizes leukemogenic ability of mIDH2 in AML cells by both producing sufficient 2-HG for transformation and avoiding cytotoxic accumulation of intracellular 2-HG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2021.06.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8455438PMC
September 2021

Daratumumab Plus Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Oct 9;21(10):701-710. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Combination therapy regimens containing a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory drug, and a steroid are an established standard of care for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) regardless of transplant eligibility. Triplet regimens that include lenalidomide/dexamethasone combined with daratumumab or carfilzomib are highly active in multiple myeloma, including NDMM. The aim of this open-label, phase 1b study was to evaluate daratumumab in combination with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (D-KRd) in patients with NDMM.

Patients And Methods: Patients (n = 22), regardless of transplant eligibility, received treatment with D-KRd for up to thirteen 28-day cycles or until autologous stem cell transplant. The first daratumumab dose was administered as a split infusion (8 mg/kg on days 1 and 2 of cycle 1). The primary end point was safety and tolerability.

Results: A total of 10 patients discontinued treatment, most frequently because of elective autologous stem cell transplant (n = 8). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (any grade; grade 3/4) were diarrhea (68%; 18%), lymphopenia (64%; 59%), cough (59%; 5%), and upper respiratory tract infection (55%; 0%). Stem cell collection was successful in most patients (91%). Daratumumab infusion-related reactions occurred in 9 (41%) patients, primarily during the first infusion, and were mild in severity (no grade 3/4 events). The best overall response rate was 95%, including 86% with a very good partial response or better and 67% with a complete response or better.

Conclusion: D-KRd was well tolerated, and encouraging efficacy results support further investigation of daratumumab-based quadruplet therapies for NDMM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.05.017DOI Listing
October 2021

What The Princess Bride Teaches Us About Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 11;39(22):2423-2425. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01137DOI Listing
August 2021

Management of belantamab mafodotin-associated corneal events in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM).

Blood Cancer J 2021 05 26;11(5):103. Epub 2021 May 26.

University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Belantamab mafodotin (belamaf) demonstrated deep and durable responses in patients with heavily pretreated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in DREAMM-2 (NCT03525678). Corneal events, specifically keratopathy (including superficial punctate keratopathy and/or microcyst-like epithelial changes (MECs), eye examination findings with/without symptoms), were common, consistent with reports from other antibody-drug conjugates. Given the novel nature of corneal events in RRMM management, guidelines are required for their prompt identification and appropriate management. Eye examination findings from DREAMM-2 and insights from hematology/oncology investigators and ophthalmologists, including corneal specialists, were collated and used to develop corneal event management guidelines. The following recommendations were formulated: close collaboration among hematologist/oncologists and eye care professionals is needed, in part, to provide optimal care in relation to the belamaf benefit-risk profile. Patients receiving belamaf should undergo eye examinations before and during every treatment cycle and promptly upon worsening of symptoms. Severity of corneal events should be determined based on corneal examination findings and changes in best-corrected visual acuity. Treatment decisions, including dose modifications, should be based on the most severe finding present. These guidelines are recommended for the assessment and management of belamaf-associated ocular events to help mitigate ocular risk and enable patients to continue to experience a clinical benefit with belamaf.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00494-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155129PMC
May 2021

Selinexor for the treatment of patients with previously treated multiple myeloma.

Expert Rev Hematol 2021 Aug 21;14(8):697-706. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

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

Introduction: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an increasingly treatable but still incurable hematologic malignancy. Prognosis has improved significantly over recent years, although further advances remain urgently needed, especially for patients with heavily pre-treated and resistant disease for whom there are limited options. Selinexor is a first-in-class, oral, selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compound that triggers apoptosis in malignant cells by inducing nuclear retention of oncogene messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and reactivation of tumor suppressor proteins (TSPs). In clinical studies of patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM, selinexor has demonstrated both manageable toxicity and encouraging efficacy.

Areas Covered: This review will provide an overview of the mechanism of action of selinexor as well as the efficacy and safety data from clinical studies using selinexor for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Expert Opinion: Long-term outcomes for patients with MM will continue to improve due to numerous recent and imminent therapeutic advances, although critical areas of unmet need remain. Oral selinexor is likely to contribute to the meeting of these needs and the further advancement of MM therapy in a meaningful way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17474086.2021.1923473DOI Listing
August 2021

Oral ixazomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone for transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2021 Jul;137(26):3616-3628

Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and.

Continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone (Rd)-based regimens are among the standards of care in transplant-ineligible newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients. The oral proteasome inhibitor ixazomib is suitable for continuous dosing, with predictable, manageable toxicities. In the double-blind, placebo-controlled TOURMALINE-MM2 trial, transplant-ineligible NDMM patients were randomized to ixazomib 4 mg (n = 351) or placebo (n = 354) plus Rd. After 18 cycles, dexamethasone was discontinued and treatment was continued using reduced-dose ixazomib (3 mg) and lenalidomide (10 mg) until progression/toxicity. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Median PFS was 35.3 vs 21.8 months with ixazomib-Rd vs placebo-Rd, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.830; 95% confidence interval, 0.676-1.018; P = .073; median follow-up, 53.3 and 55.8 months). Complete (26% vs 14%; odds ratio [OR], 2.10; P < .001) and ≥ very good partial response (63% vs 48%; OR, 1.87; P < .001) rates were higher with ixazomib-Rd vs placebo-Rd. In a prespecified high-risk cytogenetics subgroup, median PFS was 23.8 vs 18.0 months (HR, 0.690; P = .019). Overall, treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were mostly grade 1/2. With ixazomib-Rd vs placebo-Rd, 88% vs 81% of patients experienced grade ≥3 TEAEs, 66% vs 62% serious TEAEs, and 35% vs 27% TEAEs resulting in regimen discontinuation; 8% vs 6% died on study. Addition of ixazomib to Rd was tolerable with no new safety signals and led to a clinically meaningful PFS benefit of 13.5 months. Ixazomib-Rd is a feasible option for certain patients who can benefit from an all-oral triplet combination. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01850524.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462404PMC
July 2021

Antibody treatment in multiple myeloma.

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2021 Mar;19(3):166-174

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Antibody therapy, which has become a critical option in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), includes monoclonal antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and bispecific antibodies. Anti-CD38 and anti-SLAMF7 monoclonal antibodies were the first to enter the MM portfolio as treatment options for relapsed/ refractory MM. More recently, daratumumab has become important in the treatment of newly diagnosed MM, and a subcutaneous formulation has been approved. BCMA-targeted antibody-drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies, which are the newest antibody therapies to be investigated, provide additional therapeutic options for patients with heavily pretreated MM. This article reviews how antibody therapy has influenced the treatment of MM, describes the unique adverse event profiles of each relevant drug class, and explains how to incorporate antibody therapy into practice.
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March 2021

Chromatin Accessibility Identifies Regulatory Elements Predictive of Gene Expression and Disease Outcome in Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 17;27(11):3178-3189. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Purpose: Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of plasma cells. Extensive genetic and transcriptional characterization of myeloma has identified subtypes with prognostic and therapeutic implications. In contrast, relatively little is known about the myeloma epigenome.

Experimental Design: CD138CD38 myeloma cells were isolated from fresh bone marrow aspirate or the same aspirate after freezing for 1-6 months. Gene expression and chromatin accessibility were compared between fresh and frozen samples by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and assay for transpose accessible chromatin sequencing (ATAC-seq). Chromatin accessible regions were used to identify regulatory RNA expression in more than 700 samples from newly diagnosed patients in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation CoMMpass trial (NCT01454297).

Results: Gene expression and chromatin accessibility of cryopreserved myeloma recapitulated that of freshly isolated samples. ATAC-seq performed on a series of biobanked specimens identified thousands of chromatin accessible regions with hundreds being highly coordinated with gene expression. More than 4,700 of these chromatin accessible regions were transcribed in newly diagnosed myelomas from the CoMMpass trial. Regulatory element activity alone recapitulated myeloma gene expression subtypes, and in particular myeloma subtypes with immunoglobulin heavy chain translocations were defined by transcription of distal regulatory elements. Moreover, enhancer activity predicted oncogene expression implicating gene regulatory mechanisms in aggressive myeloma.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate the feasibility of using biobanked specimens for retrospective studies of the myeloma epigenome and illustrate the unique enhancer landscapes of myeloma subtypes that are coupled to gene expression and disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172525PMC
June 2021

Treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma: recommendations from the International Myeloma Working Group.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03;22(3):e105-e118

Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

This Policy Review presents the International Myeloma Working Group's clinical practice recommendations for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Based on the results of phase 2 and phase 3 trials, these recommendations are proposed for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory disease who have received one previous line of therapy, and for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received two or more previous lines of therapy. These recommendations integrate the issue of drug access in both low-income and middle-income countries and in high-income countries to help guide real-world practice and thus improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30756-7DOI Listing
March 2021

Venetoclax sensitivity in multiple myeloma is associated with B-cell gene expression.

Blood 2021 Jul;137(26):3604-3615

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Venetoclax is a highly potent, selective BCL2 inhibitor capable of inducing apoptosis in cells dependent on BCL2 for survival. Most myeloma is MCL1-dependent; however, a subset of myeloma enriched for translocation t(11;14) is codependent on BCL2 and thus sensitive to venetoclax. The biology underlying this heterogeneity remains poorly understood. We show that knockdown of cyclin D1 does not induce resistance to venetoclax, arguing against a direct role for cyclin D1 in venetoclax sensitivity. To identify other factors contributing to venetoclax response, we studied a panel of 31 myeloma cell lines and 25 patient samples tested for venetoclax sensitivity. In cell lines, we corroborated our previous observation that BIM binding to BCL2 correlates with venetoclax response and further showed that knockout of BIM results in decreased venetoclax sensitivity. RNA-sequencing analysis identified expression of B-cell genes as enriched in venetoclax-sensitive myeloma, although no single gene consistently delineated sensitive and resistant cells. However, a panel of cell surface makers correlated well with ex vivo prediction of venetoclax response in 21 patient samples and may serve as a biomarker independent of t(11;14). Assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing of myeloma cell lines also identified an epigenetic program in venetoclax-sensitive cells that was more similar to B cells than that of venetoclax-resistant cells, as well as enrichment for basic leucine zipper domain-binding motifs such as BATF. Together, these data indicate that remnants of B-cell biology are associated with BCL2 dependency and point to novel biomarkers of venetoclax-sensitive myeloma independent of t(11;14).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007899DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462405PMC
July 2021

Idecabtagene Vicleucel in Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma.

N Engl J Med 2021 02;384(8):705-716

From the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (N.C.M.), the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Harvard Medical School (N.C.M.), and Massachusetts General Hospital (N.R.), Boston, and bluebird bio, Cambridge (F.P., M.M.) - all in Massachusetts; Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (L.D.A.); the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco (N.S.); Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York (D.M.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute and Tennessee Oncology, Nashville (J.B.); Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta (S.L.); Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (Y.L.); Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack (D.S.), and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton (J.N.C., S.K., P.P., L.H., T.B.C., K.H.) - both in New Jersey; Institut Josep Carreras and Institut Catala d'Oncologia, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona (A.O.), and Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer, Pamplona (J.S.-M.) - both in Spain; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Nantes, Nantes (P.M.), and CHU de Lille, University of Lille, INSERM Unité 1286, Institute for Translational Research in Inflammation, Lille (I.Y.-A.) - both in France; University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (M.D.); "Seràgnoli" Institute of Hematology, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna (M.C.), the Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Milan, Milan (A.R.), and Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo (A.R.) - all in Italy; University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg (H.E.), University Hospital Heidelberg (H.G.) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (H.G.), Heidelberg, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (K.W.), and Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Tübingen (K.W.) - all in Germany; and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (D.R.).

Background: Idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel, also called bb2121), a B-cell maturation antigen-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, has shown clinical activity with expected CAR T-cell toxic effects in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

Methods: In this phase 2 study, we sought to confirm the efficacy and safety of ide-cel in patients with relapsed and refractory myeloma. Patients with disease after at least three previous regimens including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent, and an anti-CD38 antibody were enrolled. Patients received ide-cel target doses of 150 × 10 to 450 × 10 CAR-positive (CAR+) T cells. The primary end point was an overall response (partial response or better); a key secondary end point was a complete response or better (comprising complete and stringent complete responses).

Results: Of 140 patients enrolled, 128 received ide-cel. At a median follow-up of 13.3 months, 94 of 128 patients (73%) had a response, and 42 of 128 (33%) had a complete response or better. Minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative status (<10 nucleated cells) was confirmed in 33 patients, representing 26% of all 128 patients who were treated and 79% of the 42 patients who had a complete response or better. The median progression-free survival was 8.8 months (95% confidence interval, 5.6 to 11.6). Common toxic effects among the 128 treated patients included neutropenia in 117 patients (91%), anemia in 89 (70%), and thrombocytopenia in 81 (63%). Cytokine release syndrome was reported in 107 patients (84%), including 7 (5%) who had events of grade 3 or higher. Neurotoxic effects developed in 23 patients (18%) and were of grade 3 in 4 patients (3%); no neurotoxic effects higher than grade 3 occurred. Cellular kinetic analysis confirmed CAR+ T cells in 29 of 49 patients (59%) at 6 months and 4 of 11 patients (36%) at 12 months after infusion.

Conclusions: Ide-cel induced responses in a majority of heavily pretreated patients with refractory and relapsed myeloma; MRD-negative status was achieved in 26% of treated patients. Almost all patients had grade 3 or 4 toxic effects, most commonly hematologic toxic effects and cytokine release syndrome. (Funded by bluebird bio and Celgene, a Bristol-Myers Squibb company; KarMMa ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03361748.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2024850DOI Listing
February 2021

Evaluation of Sustained Minimal Residual Disease Negativity With Daratumumab-Combination Regimens in Relapsed and/or Refractory Multiple Myeloma: Analysis of POLLUX and CASTOR.

J Clin Oncol 2021 04 29;39(10):1139-1149. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

University of Calgary, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Purpose: In relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma, daratumumab reduced the risk of progression or death by > 60% in POLLUX (daratumumab/lenalidomide/dexamethasone [D-Rd]) and CASTOR (daratumumab/bortezomib/dexamethasone [D-Vd]). Minimal residual disease (MRD) is a sensitive measure of disease control. Sustained MRD negativity and outcomes were evaluated in these studies.

Methods: MRD was assessed via next-generation sequencing (10) at suspected complete response (CR), 3 and 6 months following confirmed CR (POLLUX), 6 and 12 months following the first dose (CASTOR), and every 12 months post-CR in both studies. Sustained MRD negativity (≥ 6 or ≥ 12 months) was evaluated in the intention-to-treat (ITT) and ≥ CR populations.

Results: The median follow-up was 54.8 months in POLLUX and 50.2 months in CASTOR. In the ITT population, MRD-negativity rates were 32.5% versus 6.7% for D-Rd versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) and 15.1% versus 1.6% for D-Vd versus bortezomib and dexamethasone (Vd; both < .0001). Higher MRD negativity rates were achieved in ≥ CR patients in POLLUX (D-Rd, 57.4%; Rd, 29.2%; = .0001) and CASTOR (D-Vd, 52.8%; Vd, 17.4%; = .0035). More patients in the ITT population achieved sustained MRD negativity ≥ 6 months with D-Rd versus Rd (20.3% 2.1%; < .0001) and D-Vd versus Vd (10.4% 1.2%; < .0001), and ≥ 12 months with D-Rd versus Rd (16.1% 1.4%; < .0001) and D-Vd versus Vd (6.8% 0%). Similar results for sustained MRD negativity were observed among ≥ CR patients. More patients in the daratumumab-containing arms achieved MRD negativity and sustained MRD negativity, which were associated with prolonged progression-free survival.

Conclusion: Daratumumab-based combinations induce higher rates of sustained MRD negativity versus standard of care, which are associated with durable remissions and prolonged clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078259PMC
April 2021

Daratumumab With Cetrelimab, an Anti-PD-1 Monoclonal Antibody, in Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 01 22;21(1):46-54.e4. Epub 2020 Aug 22.

Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Background: Daratumumab is approved for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) as monotherapy or in combination regimens. We evaluated daratumumab plus cetrelimab, a programmed death receptor-1 inhibitor, in RRMM.

Patients And Methods: This open-label, multiphase study enrolled adults with RRMM with ≥ 3 prior lines of therapy. Part 1 was a safety run-in phase examining dose-limiting toxicities of daratumumab (16 mg/kg intravenously weekly for cycles 1-2, biweekly for cycles 3-6, and monthly thereafter) plus cetrelimab (240 mg intravenously biweekly, all cycles). In Parts 2 and 3, patients were to be randomized to daratumumab with or without cetrelimab (same schedule as Part 1). Endpoints included safety, overall response rate, pharmacokinetics, and biomarker analyses.

Results: Nine patients received daratumumab plus cetrelimab in the safety run-in, and 1 received daratumumab in Part 2 before administrative study termination following a data monitoring committee's global recommendation to stop any trial including daratumumab combined with inhibitors of programmed death receptor-1 or its ligand (programmed death-ligand 1). The median follow-up times were 6.7 months (safety run-in) and 0.3 months (Part 2). No dose-limiting toxicities occurred. All 10 patients had ≥ 1 treatment-emergent adverse event; 7 patients had grade 3 to 4 treatment-emergent adverse events, and none led to treatment discontinuation or death. In the safety run-in, 7 (77.7%) patients had ≥ 1 infusion-related reaction (most grade 1-2), and 1 had a grade 2 immune-mediated reaction. Among safety run-in patients, the overall response rate was 44.4%.

Conclusions: No new safety concerns were identified for daratumumab plus cetrelimab in RRMM. The short study duration and small population limit complete analysis of this combination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.08.008DOI Listing
January 2021

Durvalumab and tremelimumab with or without stereotactic body radiation therapy in relapsed small cell lung cancer: a randomized phase II study.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 12;8(2)

Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Background: Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) targeting programmed cell death protein 1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 has achieved modest clinical activity as salvage therapy in relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC). We conducted this signal-finding study to assess the efficacy of ICB with or without radiation in relapsed SCLC.

Methods: Patients with relapsed SCLC and ≤2 previous lines of therapy were randomized to (1) arm A: durvalumab (D) 1500 mg/tremelimumab (T) 75 mg (intravenously every 4 weeks without stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)) or (2) arm B: immune-sensitizing SBRT to one selected tumor site (9 Gy × 3 fractions) followed by D/T. Treatment continued until progression or a maximum of 12 months. The co-primary endpoints of the study were overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS). We evaluated circulating lymphocyte repertoire in serial peripheral blood samples and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from on-treatment biopsies as pharmacodynamic markers.

Results: Eighteen patients were randomized to arms A and B (n=9 each): median age 70 years; 41.2% women. The median PFS and ORR were 2.1 months and 0% in arm A and 3.3 months and 28.6% in arm B. The median overall survival (OS) was 2.8 months in arm A and 5.7 months in arm B (p=0.3772). Pooled efficacy of D/T±SBRT in 15 Response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) evaluable patients across both arms showed the best ORR in terms of partial response in 13.3%, stable disease in 26.6% and progressive disease in 60.0%; the overall median PFS and OS were 2.76 and 3.9 months. The most common adverse events were grade 1 fatigue (66%) and grade 1 elevated amylase (56%) in arm A, and grade 1 fatigue (56%) and pain (44%) in arm B. There was a significant increase in activated CD8(+)ICOS+ T cells (p=0.048) and a reduction in naïve T cells (p=0.0454) in peripheral blood following treatment, along with a significant amount of activated CD8+ICOS+ T cells in TILs from responders.

Conclusions: The D/T combination with and without SBRT was safe but did not show sufficient efficacy signal in relapsed SCLC. Changes in peripheral blood lymphocyte and TILs were consistent with an immunologic response. NCT02701400.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001302DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754662PMC
December 2020

Downregulation of PA28α induces proteasome remodeling and results in resistance to proteasome inhibitors in multiple myeloma.

Blood Cancer J 2020 12 14;10(12):125. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1365 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.

Protein homeostasis is critical for maintaining eukaryotic cell function as well as responses to intrinsic and extrinsic stress. The proteasome is a major portion of the proteolytic machinery in mammalian cells and plays an important role in protein homeostasis. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy with high production of immunoglobulins and is especially sensitive to treatments that impact protein catabolism. Therapeutic agents such as proteasome inhibitors have demonstrated significant benefit for myeloma patients in all treatment phases. Here, we demonstrate that the 11S proteasome activator PA28α is upregulated in MM cells and is key for myeloma cell growth and proliferation. PA28α also regulates MM cell sensitivity to proteasome inhibitors. Downregulation of PA28α inhibits both proteasomal load and activity, resulting in a change in protein homeostasis less dependent on the proteasome and leads to cell resistance to proteasome inhibitors. Thus, our findings suggest an important role of PA28α in MM biology, and also provides a new approach for targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system and ultimately sensitivity to proteasome inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00393-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736847PMC
December 2020

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

Natural history of multiple myeloma patients refractory to venetoclax: A single center experience.

Am J Hematol 2021 03 28;96(3):E68-E71. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26064DOI Listing
March 2021

YAP1 Expression in SCLC Defines a Distinct Subtype With T-cell-Inflamed Phenotype.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 03 25;16(3):464-476. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Tissue Procurement and Pathology Shared Resource, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Introduction: The clinical and biological significance of the newly described SCLC subtypes, SCLC-A, SCLC-N, SCLC-Y, and SCLC-P, defined by the dominant expression of transcription factors ASCL1, NeuroD1, YAP1, and POU2F3, respectively, remain to be established.

Methods: We generated new RNA sequencing expression data from a discovery set of 59 archival tumor samples of neuroendocrine tumors and new protein expression data by immunohistochemistry in 99 SCLC cases. We validated the findings from this discovery set in two independent validation sets consisting of RNA sequencing data generated from 51 SCLC cell lines and 81 primary human SCLC samples.

Results: We successfully classified 71.8% of SCLC and 18.5% of carcinoid cases in our discovery set into one of the four SCLC subtypes. Gene set enrichment analysis for differentially expressed genes between the SCLC survival outliers (top and bottom deciles) matched for clinically relevant prognostic factors revealed substantial up-regulation of interferon-γ response genes in long-term survivors. The SCLC-Y subtype was associated with high expression of interferon-γ response genes, highest weighted score on a validated 18-gene T-cell-inflamed gene expression profile score, and high expression of HLA and T-cell receptor genes. YAP1 protein expression was more prevalent and more intensely expressed in limited-stage versus extensive-stage SCLC (30.6% versus 8.5%; p = 0.0058) indicating good prognosis for the SCLC-Y subtype. We replicated the inflamed phenotype of SCLC-Y in the two independent validation data sets from the SCLC cell lines and tumor samples.

Conclusions: SCLC subtyping using transcriptional signaling holds clinical relevance with the inflamed phenotype associated with the SCLC-Y subset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.11.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7920957PMC
March 2021

We need CD38 STAT-JAK.

Blood 2020 11;136(20):2246-2248

Emory University.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007467DOI Listing
November 2020

Single-agent belantamab mafodotin for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: analysis of the lyophilised presentation cohort from the pivotal DREAMM-2 study.

Blood Cancer J 2020 10 23;10(10):106. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Emory University, Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA, USA.

DREAMM-2 (NCT03525678) is an ongoing global, open-label, phase 2 study of single-agent belantamab mafodotin (belamaf; GSK2857916), a B-cell maturation antigen-targeting antibody-drug conjugate, in a frozen-liquid presentation in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Alongside the main study, following identical inclusion/exclusion criteria, a separate patient cohort was enrolled to receive belamaf in a lyophilised presentation (3.4 mg/kg, every 3 weeks) until disease progression/unacceptable toxicity. Primary outcome was independent review committee-assessed overall response rate (ORR). Twenty-five patients were enrolled; 24 received ≥1 dose of belamaf. As of 31 January 2020, ORR was 52% (95% CI: 31.3-72.2); 24% of patients achieved very good partial response. Median duration of response was 9.0 months (2.8-not reached [NR]); median progression-free survival was 5.7 months (2.2-9.7); median overall survival was not reached (8.7 months-NR). Most common grade 3/4 adverse events were keratopathy (microcyst-like corneal epithelial changes, a pathological finding seen on eye examination [75%]), thrombocytopenia (21%), anaemia (17%), hypercalcaemia and hypophosphatemia (both 13%), neutropenia and blurred vision (both 8%). Pharmacokinetics supported comparability of frozen-liquid and lyophilised presentations. Single-agent belamaf in a lyophilised presentation (intended for future use) showed a deep and durable clinical response and acceptable safety profile in patients with heavily pre-treated RRMM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00369-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7584571PMC
October 2020

Ixazomib as Postinduction Maintenance for Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Not Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: The Phase III TOURMALINE-MM4 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 6;38(34):4030-4041. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Purpose: Maintenance therapy prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) not undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) but has generally been limited to immunomodulatory agents. Other options that complement the induction regimen with favorable toxicity are needed.

Patients And Methods: The phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled TOURMALINE-MM4 study randomly assigned (3:2) patients with NDMM not undergoing ASCT who achieved better than or equal to partial response after 6-12 months of standard induction therapy to receive the oral proteasome inhibitor (PI) ixazomib or placebo on days 1, 8, and 15 of 28-day cycles as maintenance for 24 months. The primary endpoint was PFS since time of randomization.

Results: Patients were randomly assigned to receive ixazomib (n = 425) or placebo (n = 281). TOURMALINE-MM4 met its primary endpoint with a 34.1% reduction in risk of progression or death with ixazomib versus placebo (median PFS since randomization, 17.4 9.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.659; 95% CI, 0.542 to 0.801; < .001; median follow-up, 21.1 months). Ixazomib significantly benefitted patients who achieved complete or very good partial response postinduction (median PFS, 25.6 12.9 months; HR, 0.586; < .001). With ixazomib versus placebo, 36.6% versus 23.2% of patients had grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs); 12.9% versus 8.0% discontinued treatment because of TEAEs. Common any-grade TEAEs included nausea (26.8% 8.0%), vomiting (24.2% 4.3%), and diarrhea (23.2% 12.3%). There was no increase in new primary malignancies (5.2% 6.2%); rates of on-study deaths were 2.6% versus 2.2%.

Conclusion: Ixazomib maintenance prolongs PFS with no unexpected toxicity in patients with NDMM not undergoing ASCT. To our knowledge, this is the first PI demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial to have single-agent efficacy for maintenance and is the first oral PI option in this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768338PMC
December 2020
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