Daratumumab (Darzalex): A Breakthrough Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that produce antibodies. In multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, crowding out normal blood cells and producing abnormal antibodies that can cause various problems, such as kidney damage, bone pain, infections and anemia.

Multiple myeloma is a rare and incurable disease, but there are treatments that can help control its symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients. One of these treatments is daratumumab (Darzalex), a monoclonal antibody that targets a protein called CD38, which is found on the surface of most myeloma cells.

Daratumumab was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 as a monotherapy for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, who had received at least three prior therapies. Since then, daratumumab has been approved for use in combination with other drugs for different groups of patients, including those who are newly diagnosed or who have not responded to previous treatments.

Daratumumab works by attaching to CD38 on myeloma cells and activating the immune system to kill them. Daratumumab also blocks the functions of CD38, which may help reduce the growth and survival of myeloma cells. Daratumumab has shown to improve the response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival of patients with multiple myeloma in several clinical trials.

Daratumumab is given by infusion (drip) into a vein or by injection under the skin. The dose and frequency of daratumumab depend on the way it is given and the other drugs it is combined with. Before and after receiving daratumumab, patients are given medicines to reduce the risk of infusion-related reactions, which are common and can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, low blood pressure and rash. Other side effects of daratumumab may include low blood cell counts, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, nerve damage and infections.

Daratumumab is a breakthrough therapy for multiple myeloma that has changed the treatment landscape for this disease. By targeting CD38, daratumumab offers a new mechanism of action that can overcome resistance to other drugs and enhance their effectiveness. Daratumumab has shown to improve outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma across different settings and stages of the disease.

If you have multiple myeloma and are interested in learning more about daratumumab, talk to your doctor about whether this treatment is suitable for you. You can also find more information about daratumumab on the websites of the EMA , the FDA , Drugs.com , Darzalex.com and Macmillan Cancer Support .

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