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Key Takeaways from 2023 American Society of Hematology Meeting


Fox Chase Physician Demonstrates Safety and Effectiveness of Myeloma Drug for Black or African American Patients

Asya Varshavsky-Yanovsky, MD, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapies at Fox Chase Cancer Center, presented at the 65th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition an analysis showing that the multiple myeloma drug elranatamab is safe and effective for Black or African American patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM).

“Asya Varshavsky-Yanovsky, MD, PhD

Asya Varshavsky-Yanovsky, MD, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapies

“Multiple myeloma disproportionately impacts Black patients, affecting both incidence and outcome. Here, we report the efficacy and safety of elranatamab in a pooled analysis of Black or African American patients with RRMM across three studies,” said Varshavsky-Yanovsky.

Elranatamab, also known by its brand name Elrexfio, is an immunotherapy drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for patients with multiple myeloma who had at least four prior lines of therapy. The drug targets the B-cell maturation antigen, which is expressed on myeloma cells.

The analysis included 24 Black or African American patients from three of the MagnetisMM clinical trials. These trials, conducted by Pfizer Inc., which developed elranatamab, evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the drug in people with multiple myeloma.

Patients from these trials who were evaluated in Varshavsky-Yanovsky’s analysis had a median age of 61 and received at least three prior treatments with poor response. Patients had a median of six prior lines of therapy, with 91.7% and 45.8% having triple-class and penta-drug refractory disease, respectively.

The analysis showed that elranatamab was effective and demonstrated a reasonable safety profile in Black or African American patients with RRMM and that results for these populations were comparable to those of the overall population treated with elranatamab, a key finding.

“With limited research on how these immunotherapy drugs may affect minority populations differently, it is crucial that we continue to conduct similar studies,” said Varshavsky-Yanovsky. “I am excited to be bringing these findings to ASH to share with a broader audience so that populations most affected by multiple myeloma can receive effective personalized treatment.”

Varshavsky-Yanovsky shared her analysis, “Efficacy and Safety of Elranatamab in Black Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma (RRMM): A Subgroup Analysis of the MagnetisMM Studies,” in a poster presentation at this year’s ASH meeting.


Fox Chase Graduate Student Billy Truong Recognized for Third Year in a Row

Fox Chase Cancer Center graduate student Billy Truong was awarded the ASH Abstract Achievement Award for the third year in a row for his study on targeting substrate interactions of the ERK2 protein that drive myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Read More.


Other Presentations by Fox Chase and Fels Cancer Institute for Personalized Medicine Faculty at ASH 2023

Clonal Targeting of DNA Damage Response Pathways Eradicates Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Inactivation of DNA Polymerase Theta is Synthetic Lethal in DNMT3A Mutated Myeloid Malignancies – Potential Clinical Applications

Use of Prephase Steroids in Older Patients Treated for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma