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Cancer is a disease that affects different people in different ways, and for some people, no existing treatments can effectively treat their cancer. GlaxoSmithKline has recently released the results of their DREAMM-2 study, which enrolled participants whose multiple myeloma did not respond to previous treatment. While this drug, belantamab mafodotin, did show clinically meaningful results, it is not yet approved for use. Based on these results, developers submitted a Biologics License Application to the FDA in the hope that this treatment will soon be available.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects the plasma cells, which are necessary for fighting infections. These cells make antibodies, which attack germs and keep the body healthy. Cancer cells collect in the bone marrow in this cancer, forcing out the healthy red blood cells. The myeloma cells then produce abnormal antibodies, also called M proteins.
The exact cause of the abnormal production of plasma cells is unknown. As many myeloma cells have been found to be missing a part of chromosome 13, scientists suspect this missing piece may be the cause.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma includ pain, especially in the spine or chest, kidney problems, nausea, constipation, a loss of appetite, confusion, fatigue, weight loss, frequent infections, a low blood count, excessive thirst, weakness of the legs, and hypercalcemia.
After these symptoms are noticed, there are multiple tests that can be conducted to obtain a diagnosis. These tests include blood tests, urine tests, a bone marrow exam, or imaging tests. Once a diagnosis is confirmed there are multiple treatment options. The five drug classes include chemotherapy, immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, steroids, and histone deacetylase inhibitors. Other treatments are symptomatic and meant to manage complications.
About the DREAMM-2 Study
The DREAMM-2 study, conducted by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), showed clinically meaningful results, with 31% of participants achieving an overall response. This study of belantamab mafodotin, which is a humanized immunoconjugate against B-cell maturation antigen, was conducted with patients who have been unresponsive to prior treatment. 30 out of the 97 total patients showed an overall response, and three patients achieved a complete response. This study showed that the safety and tolerability of this drug were consistent with past research. Adverse effects included keratopathy, thrombocytopenia, and anaemia.
The dosage was 2.5 mg/kg, which is the dosage that GSK is using to seek approval from the FDA. If belantamab mafodotin is granted approval, it will offer an important new treatment for those with multiple myeloma. GSK is excited about these results and all future developments of this drug. They are hopeful that it will be approved, as it would offer a form of treatment to those who have exhausted other options.
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