THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Many patients with multiple myeloma treated with anti-B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) therapy have infections, and the rate of infections is significantly lower when patients are receiving intravenous immunoglobulin, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in Blood Cancer Discovery.
Guido Lancman, M.D., from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to characterize all infections and their risk factors and to assess the impact of infection prophylaxis among 37 patients with multiple myeloma treated with BCMA-targeted bispecific antibodies.
The researchers found that 41 percent of the patients experienced a grade 3 to 5 infection; two infection-related deaths occurred during deep remissions. Overall, 84 percent of the infections occurred during remission. Over time, there was an increase in the cumulative probability of grade 3 to 5 infection, with no plateau. There were 26 responders, all of whom had profound hypogammaglobulinemia, which continued throughout the duration of treatment. The rate of grade 3 to 5 infections was 90 percent lower during periods when patients were receiving intravenous immunoglobulin than during observation. No other risk factors were identified for infection.
“Given the very high rates of serious infections and deaths in patients receiving these treatments, this study supports a proactive rather than a reactive approach, meaning initiation of intravenous immunoglobulin prophylaxis from the beginning rather than waiting for patients to experience complications,” Lancman said in a statement.
Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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