Ira Braunschweig, MD, director of the Stem Cell Transplant Program and clinical program director of Hematologic Malignancies at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care in Bronx, New York, discusses the promise of chimeric antigen receptor cells and the value of autologous transplantation in the treatment of multiple myeloma.
Offering background on the “tremendous success” already witnessed with CAR T-cell therapy in other hematologic malignancies, he highlights positive results using anti–B-cell maturation antigen CAR T cells in patients with myeloma from a small study by James N. Kochenderfer, MD, and colleagues at the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research presented at the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.
“At the highest dosing level, he found dramatic responses, and one of those patients actually achieved a stringent complete remission,” Braunschweig said.
He emphasizes the benefits of autologous stem cell transplant in the era of novel therapies, pointing to data from two additional investigations presented at ASH — one by Antonio Palumbo, MD, of the University of Torino in Italy, and the other by Michel Attal, MD, of the University of Toulouse in France.
“Those who see these patients go through it, and with the recognition that the toxicities of autologous stem cell transplant have decreased over the years, this a very viable, very vibrant and important piece of these patients’ therapy,” he said.