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First success T cell therapy in multiple myeloma

First success T cell therapy in multiple myeloma

Apart from leukaemia and lymphoma, T cell therapy has now proven to be effective in multiple myelomas. In a phase I/II clinical trial, sixteen of the twenty patients responded to the treatment, US scientists write in Nature Medicine.

The developed T cell therapy is an addition to the existing chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. To generate the tumour-specific immune cells, T cell progenitors are filtered out of the patient’s blood and reprogrammed to recognise a protein expressed in sixty percent of the advanced multiple myelomas. After chemo and stem cell therapy, 2.4 billion engineered T cells are readministered to the patients.

The results are promising: the T cells migrate to the bone marrow, the location of multiple myeloma, and persist for up to two years. Furthermore, the treatment is safe and well-tolerated, and shows a clear correlation between the presence of tumour-specific T-cells and halt of disease progression. Three months after therapy, seventy percent of the participants had a (near) complete response and after a median follow-up of 21 months, fifteen patients were still alive of which ten had no disease progression.

"The majority of patients who participated in this trial had a meaningful degree of clinical benefit", first author, dr. Aaron Rapoport of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, notes. "Even patients who later relapsed after achieving a complete response to treatment or didn't have a complete response, had periods of disease control that I believe they would not have otherwise experienced.”  

Sources: Nature Medicine, Eurekalert

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