Daratumumab in addition to bortezomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone is in clinical development for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells (a type of white blood cells) in the bone marrow (the spongy tissue at the centre of some bones) where large amounts of abnormal plasma cells are produced and interfere with the production of red and white blood cells and platelets. The current first line treatment is high dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant. Autologous stem cell transplant is a procedure where a patient’s healthy stem cells are collected and given back after treatment but due to frailty or comorbidities some patients are ineligible and require other treatment options.
Daratumumab is a type of immune therapy that is administered subcutaneously and acts by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in MM via a surface protein called CD38. If licenced it is hoped daratumumab in addition to bortezomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone could provide better long term outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplant.