Are multiple myeloma patients showing deeper responses to therapies? Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi from the Mayo Clinic discusses treatment response and the potential for a myeloma cure.
And one question comes to mind that I have heard from other myeloma patients, and you mentioned that we are seeing deep responses, or they’re seeing deep responses in clinical trials for some of these in refractory relapsed patients. Do you think that bringing these…do you think it’s possible to bring some of these therapies to the forefront of myeloma care, maybe an induction therapy or after first relapse, and if so, do you think that that could lead to even deeper responses in those patients because their immune system isn’t quite so tired and potentially cure?
Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi:
Again, Lisa, that is such an important and such a spot-on question that you’ve asked because absolutely, you can imagine, if we are thinking of harnessing the body’s immune system, the T cells, but we’re talking about patients who have had five, six, seven, then, prior lines of therapy. But that immune system is also a little exhausted, a little tired, but if you were to use the immune system of a newly diagnosed patient, patient who’s not been created that much…well, those T cells are going to be way more robust.
Whether we use a CAR-T kind of strategy where we remove the T cells, train them and put them back, or we use a bispecific kind of strategy where we put in a drug that pulls the T cells closer to the myeloma cells and kills them using these smart thoughtful strategies which are not just dumb drugs that go in and kill everything, these are smart targeted drugs, using them early on in the treatment paradigm will certainly be more beneficial.
In fact, there is some data showing up where some of these strategies like CAR-T cell are being used sooner in the treatment paradigm. But again, as drug development goes, We first want to make sure it is safe, it is effective, and typically the starting point is patients who have exhausted other options, but very soon we will be seeing all of these strategies, and in fact, some of these strategies combined with each other coming in, early lines of therapy and hopefully providing excellent, deep responses, and you mentioned that term that has been very invasive for us cure, I don’t know if we are…
So we are not there yet. I don’t know how long it’ll take us to get there, but there is certainly much more hope today for getting to that cure than it was before.