First CAR T Therapy to Treat Multiple Myeloma Offers Hope to Patients No Longer Responsive to Standard Therapy

FDA Approves Abecma Following Phase II KarMMA Trial at Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center

David Siegel

A newly approved CAR T therapy called idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel), or Abecma, is the first personalized cell therapy to treat patients with multiple myeloma who are no longer responsive to all standard previous types of therapy.

The new therapy, a one-time infusion, was assessed in the phase II clinical KarMMA trial at Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center, with results published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Out of 128 patients who received idecabtagene vicleucel, 94 (73 percent) had a positive response with 42 (33 percent) of those patients having a complete response. The treatment targets a protein called B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) found in malignant plasma cells. In addition to expanding treatment options for myeloma patients who have exhausted all other therapies, ongoing trials are exploring incorporation of ide-cel earlier in the course of the disease.

"Patients with multiple myeloma are in critical need of new therapies after attempting traditional treatments unsuccessfully. The approval of idecabtagene vicleucel as the first CAR T-Cell therapy in Multiple Myeloma means we can offer hope to patients, many of whom have no other option,” states David S. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., founding Director of the Multiple Myeloma Institute at John Theurer Cancer Center and principal investigator at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center for the ide-cel KarMMA trial.

Learn more about cancer care breakthroughs at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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