While we have two autologous BCMA-targeting CAR T cell therapies already FDA approved (Abecma and Carvykti), work continues by other comapnies to develop additional CAR T therapies going after the same target.
In a recent HealthTree Pocast with Jesus Berdeja, MD, a clinical trial from CARgen Therapeutics was mentioned. The product is called zevor-cel and it is now in a Phase 1b/2 study. In the Phase 1b portion of the study, the safety and efficacy of zevor-cel will be evaluated in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma. After the ideal dose is identified in the Phase 1b portion, the Phase 2 portion will open.
In the study, accepted patients will have their T cells collected using a process called leukapheresis. After the CAR T product is manufactured based on each patient's individual T cells, the cells will be returned to the facility. Before receiving the customized CAR T cell therapy, patients will receive a pre-conditioning chemotherapy (called lymphodepletion). After the study, patients will participate in a 15-year follow-up.
This study is looking for three primary outcomes:
Secondary outsomes will also be reviewed that include:
The study is currently open and recruiting at least 105 patients that fit the following criteria:
The study is open at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, UCSF, Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center, Dana Farber, University of Michigan, Mayo Clinic Rochester, TriStar CMC, UT Southwestern, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Methodist Hospital (Houston), Huntsman Cancer Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin and Princess Margaret Hospital (Canada).
How does CAR T cell therapy work? In this HealthTree University class, Djordje Atanackovic, MD of the University of Maryland explains that, unlike some other myeloma treatments, CAR-T is a specific therapy with a local approach: “just like the process your body would normally do to kill a virus, but in this case, it intends to kill the Myeloma cell itself.”
Current CAR T cell therapy clinical trials are for patients in later lines of therapy - those who have relapsed after treatment or become refractory to treatment (learn more about refractory myeloma in this HealthTree University class).
We look forward to their use in earlier lines of treatment and eventually believe they will be tested and used in newly diagnosed patients.
If you need assistence finding or joining clinical trials, please contact our Patient Navigator support team at 1-800-709-1113.
about the author
Marilú Nájera Flores
Marilú is an International Medical Graduate who recently joined HealthTree this year (2022) as part of the Patient Experience team. She helps MGUS and SM patients understand and track their lab & genetic test results and relevant information from their health history. She is a Disney fan, a travel enthusiast, a passionate novel reader, a cheerful, friendly person, and a good listener who enjoys spending time with family and friends.