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EHA 2019 | Myeloma: melflufen toxicty and side-effects

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Paul Richardson

Paul Richardson, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, tells about the side effects that have been seen in the use of melflufen for the treatment of multiple myeloma at the 24th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2019, held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Yeah, in terms of safety, we were very pleased to see that there are no new safety
signals in the Horizon Experience to date and, in that regard what we’ve seen is that
there is thrombocytopenia that’s important. There’s neutropenia that’s very
manageable with growth factor support and again, anemia, again manageable with
supportive care. The important thing is though there was an absence of significant
bleeding and the overall infection rate, serious infection rate is strikingly low, at around
7%...

Yeah, in terms of safety, we were very pleased to see that there are no new safety
signals in the Horizon Experience to date and, in that regard what we’ve seen is that
there is thrombocytopenia that’s important. There’s neutropenia that’s very
manageable with growth factor support and again, anemia, again manageable with
supportive care. The important thing is though there was an absence of significant
bleeding and the overall infection rate, serious infection rate is strikingly low, at around
7%. Now we do see a significant number of uppers respiratory tract infections that are
around grade one, two, manageable with antibiotics. But in terms of serious infections,
the rate is only 7% which I think is remarkable. And the rate of Febrile Neutropenia is
also low in single digits.
I think that again reflects the fact that this is a very manageable toxicity profile.
Although we are very interested in monitoring the thrombocytopenia that we see with
this drug in particular, because that may be important as we go forward. The good news
there is that in combination studies, and the combination studies are been presented at
this meeting from the Anchor trial, combinations with Bortezomib for example, have
been remarkably well tolerated with less thrombocytopenia and very active. Interesting
at this meeting, there are also data on combination of Melflufen with Daratumumab,
and the response rates there are very striking. Although again, we’ll have to keep an eye
on thrombocytopenia in that particular population.

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