Robert Rifkin, MD, FACP, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, outlines multiple myeloma research he hopes to see in the next 5 years.
We really need to make an inroad in treating triple-class refractory patients, said Robert Rifkin, MD, FACP, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.
In the next 5 years, what investigations would you like to see carried out in the multiple myeloma space?
I think the investigations would be bringing the newer lines of therapies such as CAR-T, and refining those. So there are now different targets being explored far beyond CD19 and including CAR-T/NK constructs, which should be a lot easier to give. In addition, there's all of the bispecific antibodies and drug antibody conjugates. The trick here will be able to develop them in such a way that we don't need a lot of hospitalizations with the first dose, no worrying about cytokine release, neurotoxicity because unfortunately, with the pandemic hospital beds are sometimes difficult to acquire. We have trouble just getting routine patients into the hospital right now, because of staffing shortages and overcrowding. So if we can take the new things that hopefully will overcome the triple-class refractory patients and make them off the shelf, and are outpatient friendly, that'll be a huge advance, and our patients will benefit a lot. There's certainly a lot of ongoing efforts in that regard.
Do you have any closing thoughts you'd like to share?
Probably the only thing that's interesting is, when you become triple-class refractory, there are a proportion of patients, for reasons we're still exploring, that don't get any further therapy. And maybe they're too sick. Maybe providers don't know what other choices are out there. And then there's probably an access issue to all of the newer things I just described. So that's where we really need to make an inroad.