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New Target for Relapsed Myeloma: LILRB4-directed CAR-T Therapy
Posted: Apr 12, 2024
New Target for Relapsed Myeloma: LILRB4-directed CAR-T Therapy image

Many patients with multiple myeloma experience relapse after initial treatment. Fortunately, researchers are constantly exploring new treatment options, including CAR-T cell therapy.

CAR-T Cell Therapy for Myeloma

CAR-T therapy is a promising immunotherapy that uses a patient's own T cells. These T cells are genetically modified to recognize and attack cancer cells. Currently, two FDA-approved CAR-T therapies, Abecma (ide-cel) and Carvycti (cilta-cel), target a protein called BCMA on myeloma cells.

Research continues to discover new promising applications of CAR-T, including finding new proteins to target, which can be useful in patients whose disease is not responding to BCMA-targeted therapy. 

LILRB4: A New Target for CAR-T Therapy

Recent research suggests that another protein, LILRB4, may be a target for CAR-T therapy in multiple myeloma. LILRB4 appears to act as a "brake" on the immune system, preventing T cells from effectively attacking cancer cells. This leads to a weakened immune system response, which is very commonly seen in myeloma patients.

Study Findings

A study published in Blood (January 2024) investigated the effect of blocking the production of the LILRB4 protein in myeloma cells. In cell culture experiments, they saw that myeloma cells without the LILRB4 protein couldn’t stop T cells from growing and attacking them. In contrast, when a myeloma cell had an active LILRB4 protein, it prevented the T cells from doing their normal function, and the myeloma cell survived. 

This experiment proves how important the LILRB4 protein is for myeloma cells and, therefore, that LILRB4-targeted therapy may be a promising approach for treating multiple myeloma. They confirmed this by engineering T cells to target myeloma cells with LILRB4, which resulted in the reduction of very aggressive myeloma cells that were not responding to bortezomib or BCMA-directed therapies.

What This Means for Patients

While more research is needed, these findings offer hope for patients with relapsed myeloma. LILRB4-targeted CAR-T therapy could potentially provide a new treatment option for those who haven't responded well to other therapies.

Looking Forward

Clinical trials are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of LILRB4-targeted CAR-T therapy in humans. However, this research is a positive step forward in the treatment of multiple myeloma patients.

The Takeaway

If you have relapsed myeloma, it's important to know that researchers are actively exploring new treatment options. CAR-T therapy is already changing the treatment landscape for myeloma patients, but it can still be improved and help even more people in the future. 

Talk to your doctor about your treatment options and stay informed about the latest research advancements with HealthTree Foundation for Multiple Myeloma.

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Sources:

The author Jessica Jones

about the author
Jessica Jones

My name is Jessica Jones, and I am a registered nurse licensed in Utah. I worked as a certified nursing assistant for four years, a licensed practical nurse for one year, and a registered nurse for over two years. Throughout my education and work experience, I have undergone personal hardships where members of my family have either been diagnosed or passed away from cancer. Therefore, I aim to help those in need directly or indirectly through my education and experience as a registered nurse.

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