Monitoring, prophylaxis, and treatment of infections in patients with MM receiving bispecific antibody therapy: consensus recommendations from an expert panel.
Raje N., Anderson K., Einsele H., Efebera Y., Gay F., Hammond SP., Lesokhin AM., Lonial S., Ludwig H., Moreau P., Patel K., Ramasamy K., Mateos M-V.
Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are emerging as an important novel class of immunotherapeutic agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), and are set to be more widely used in clinical practice. However, this new class of therapies is associated with a distinct adverse event (AE) profile that includes cytokine release syndrome and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome, as well as AEs leading to increased infection risk such as cytopenias and hypogammaglobulinemia, and infections themselves. As preliminary data with this class of agents shows an increased risk of infections as compared with conventional MM treatment regimens, such as immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), guidance on infection monitoring, prophylaxis and treatment is required. This review provides consensus recommendations from a panel of 13 global experts, following a meeting in August 2022. The meeting objective was to review existing literature and identify relevant information on infections with all BsAbs in patients with MM, as well as to discuss clinical experience of experts in managing these infections. The recommendations outlined here can be used to guide management of infection risk factors, such as hypogammaglobulinemia and neutropenia. In addition, they can be used to guide the monitoring, prophylaxis, and treatment of bacterial, viral and fungal infections, including emerging infections of interest, such as coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), and the use of vaccinations prior to and during BsAb treatment. The recommendations have been graded by the panel based on level of data available. Key recommendations include universal herpes simplex and varicella zoster virus prophylaxis, screening for hepatitis B virus reactivation risk in all patients, monthly intravenous immunoglobulin treatment for immunoparesis and in the absence of life-threatening infectious manifestations, use of colony-stimulating factors in patients with Grade 3 neutropenia, universal pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia prophylaxis and no routine anti-fungal prophylaxis.