The addition of Darzalex™ (daratumumab) to the standard treatment combination consisting of Velcade (bortezomib), melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) reduces disease progression or death by 50%, among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are not eligible to undergo a stem cell transplant. These results were presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

In the United States alone, approximately 30,000 people will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the year 2017. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that starts in immune cells called plasma cells. Treatment varies according to the extent or aggressiveness of the disease, as well as the patient’s other existing medical conditions or ability to tolerate some types of therapies.

About Darzalex™ (daratumumab)

Darzalex™ is a monoclonal antibody that has been produced in a laboratory to bind to a protein often found on the surface of multiple myeloma cancer cells, called CD38. The binding of Darzalex™ has direct killing effects on the cell, as well as stimulating effects on the immune system to attack the cancer cell. Darzalex™ is approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma in combinations with different types of treatment regimens among patients whose cancer has progressed following therapy.

Researchers recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the addition of Darzalex™ to VMP among patients who had not yet received prior treatment, and were not eligible for a stem cell transplant. Patients in the trial were at least 65 years of age and were divided into two groups: one group was treated with Darzalex™ plus VMP (D-VMP), and the other group was treated with VMP only.  Data was retrieved at a median follow-up of 16.5 months following initiation of treatment.

  • Patients treated with D-VMP had a 50% reduction in their risk of death or disease progression, compared to those treated with VMP only.
  • Treatment benefit of D-VMP remained among all treatment groups: for patients 75 years of age and older; for patients with later-stage multiple myeloma; and for patients whose genetic analysis determined that they were at a high risk for a cancer recurrence.
  • At this time, overall survival data are too immature to determine true overall survival differences between the two groups of patients.

The researchers concluded that the addition of Darzalex™ to VMP among patients who have not received prior therapy, but are not eligible for a stem cell transplant, significantly reduces their risk of death or disease progression. Longer follow-up will help determine potential survival benefits for this group of patients.

Reference: Mateos M-V, Dimopoulos M, Cavo M, et al. Phase 3 randomized study of Darzalex™  plus bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (D-VMP) versus bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients (pts) ineligible for transplant (ALCYONE). Proceedings from the 59th annual meeting and exhibition of the American Society of Hematology; Atlanta, GA; December 9-12, 2017; Late-breaking abstract #4. Retrieved from https://ash.confex.com/ash/2017/webprogram/Paper109143.html

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