Larry Anderson, MD, PhD, discussed the updated results of the KarMMa trial at ASCO

At the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® spoke with Larry Anderson, MD, PhD, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, about updated pivotal trial results Phase 2 KarMMa (NCT03361748) B cell antigen maturation directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel; Abecma) in the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

In heavily pre-treated patients, Anderson said the responses to ide-cel were unprecedented and treatment with this therapy offers hope for those with few options available.


The main takeaway from this trial is that we are seeing unprecedented responses in this group of highly refractory patients. This basically gives us hope that we can use these therapies for patients who had really little hope before. We are seeing some really deep and potentially lasting remissions. Basically we now have options for patients who didn’t really have options before.

But another point to remember is that even though [about] 41% of patients have achieved a complete response and are still in remission within 2 years, and we still have patients in complete remission in 3 years, most of these patients relapse within a few years. It is not necessarily a panacea [treatment]. We really hope that other modifications we have mentioned using these [cellular therapies] sooner will be even more effective. But certainly for now, it’s great to have an option for those patients who have already failed all of the standard options.

The references

Anderson LD, Munshi NC, Shah N, et al. Idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel, bb2121), a BCMA-directed CAR T cell therapy, in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma: Updated KarMMa results. J Clin Oncol. 2021; 39 (suppl 15): 8016. doi: 10.1200 / JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8016

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