Blenrep Combo for Relapsed, Refractory Myeloma Improves Outcomes

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Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma had lower progressive disease outcomes when receiving Blenrep with Velcade and dexamethasone, research found.

a pair of hands drawing Blenrep serum from a vial with a needle for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

A Blenrep treatment combination demonstrated optimal outcomes in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma compared with another treatment combination.

Treatment of Blenrep (belantamab mafodotin) in combination with Velcade (bortezomib) plus dexamethasone significantly improved progression-free survival compared with standard treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, a news release from GSK, the manufacturer of Blenrep reported.

Progression-free survival (PFS) is the amount of time patients live with cancer without it worsening or spreading, according to the National Cancer Institute.

More specifically, the phase 3 DREAMM-7 study found that patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma who received the treatment combination of Blenrep with Velcade and dexamethasone as second-line or later treatment had better PFS compared with patients who received Darzalex with Velcade and dexamethasone, the standard-of-care (widely used treatment by health care professionals).

The study’s primary endpoint — or the main result measured at the end of a study to see if the treatment worked — was PFS, in which researchers found that the Blenrep treatment combination led to a significant difference.

The study included 243 patients who demonstrated a 59% decrease in the risk of disease progression or death, according to the news release. This decrease was compared with the 251 patients in the group who received the Darzalex combination.

After a median follow-up of 28.2 months, the median PFS was 36.6 months for patients who received the Blenrep combination, compared with 13.4 months for patients who received the Darzalex combination, the release stated.

“The substantial progression-free survival benefit and strong overall survival trend (time from diagnosis when a patient with cancer is still alive) compared to a [Darzalex] standard of care combination reinforce our belief in the potential for [Blenrep] used in combination to redefine the treatment of multiple myeloma at or after first relapse. We plan on sharing these results with health authorities worldwide,” Hesham Abdullah, senior vice president, global head oncology, R&D, GSK, said in the news release.

In terms of secondary endpoints, the study found that the overall response rate (percentage of patients who have a partial or complete response to treatment) was 82.7% in patients from the Blenrep combination group and 71.3% in the Darzalex combination group.

In particular, patients with a complete response to treatment included 20.6% in the Blenrep group and 12% in the Darzalex group, the study showed. Very good partial responses occurred in 31.3% and 29.1% of patients in the respective groups and general partial responses occurred in 16.9% and 25.1% of patients, respectively, according to the study.

The safety profile and tolerability of the Blenrep combination were consistent with previous findings of the profile for each drug, the news release noted. Side effects that were grade 3 or higher — meaning they were serious or worse — in both the Blenrep and Darzalex combination groups included thrombocytopenia (55% and 35%; lower levels of platelets), neutropenia (12% and 6%; lower levels of white blood cells), pneumonia (12% and 4%) and anemia (8% and 10%).

“These results from DREAMM-7 show how [Blenrep] in combination with [Velcade and dexamethasone] represents a significant improvement over the [Darzalex]-based regimen in a second-line multiple myeloma treatment setting. Anti-BCMA therapies are helping to improve outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma, and having an off-the-shelf option, [Blenrep], that can be administered in a community oncology treatment center where the majority of patients are treated has the potential to transform the way we treat myeloma at or after first relapse,” Dr. María-Victoria Mateos, head of the myeloma and clinical trials unit, haematology department and professor of medicine at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and DREAMM-7 principal investigator, said in the news release.

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