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Lymphoma and Pets
Empliciti Approved for Multiple Myeloma
The US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for Empliciti (elotuzumab) in combination with two other therapies to treat people with multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior medications.
About multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer that occurs in infection-fighting plasma cells (a white blood cell) found in the bone marrow. These cancerous cells multiply, produce an abnormal protein and push out other healthy blood cells from the bone marrow, resulting in a weakened immune system, and may cause other bone and kidney problems. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 26,850 new cases of multiple myeloma and 11,240 related deaths in the United States this year.
“We are continuing to learn about the ways the immune system interacts with different types of cancer, including multiple myeloma," said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval is the second monoclonal antibody approved to treat patients with multiple myeloma and works with another approved therapy to provide additional benefit." Darzalex (daratumumab), approved earlier this month, is the only other FDA-approved monoclonal antibody for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.
Empliciti activates the body’s immune system to attack and kill multiple myeloma cells. It is approved in combination with another FDA-approved treatment for multiple myeloma called Revlimid (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone (a type of corticosteroid).
The safety and efficacy of Empliciti were tested in a randomized, open-label clinical study of 646 participants whose multiple myeloma came back after, or did not respond to previous treatment. Those taking Empliciti plus Revlimid and dexamethasone experienced a delay in the amount of time before their disease worsened (19.4 months) compared to participants taking only Revlimid and dexamethasone (14.9 months). Additionally, 78.5 percent of those taking Empliciti with Revlimid and dexamethasone saw a complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors compared to 60.1 percent in those only taking Revlimid and dexamethasone.
About Empliciti side effects
The most common side effects of Empliciti are fatigue, diarrhea, fever (pyrexia), constipation, cough, nerve damage resulting in weakness or numbness in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy), infection of the nose and throat (nasopharyngitis), upper respiratory tract infection, decreased appetite and pneumonia.