Hem/Onc Roundup: BCMA CAR T Approved for MM, Disparities Remain in Breast Cancer Screening

This week, the U.S. FDA approved idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel) for the treatment of adults with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma following four or more previous treatments. Ide-cel is the first B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to be approved for this disease. Approval is supported by results from the KarMMa trial, in which 72% of patients treated with ide-cel responded to treatment and 28% achieved a complete response.

First BCMA CAR T-Cell Therapy Approved for Multiple Myeloma

In other news, a study found that while mammography rates nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels for most women, rates still lagged for Asian and Hispanic women. When stratified by race, the monthly screening mammography volume in July 2020, compared to pre-pandemic numbers, was 96.7% for Black women and 92.9% and for white women. However, for Hispanic women, it was less than three-quarters of pre-pandemic volume, and for Asian women, it was just over half.

Mammography Rates Did Not Return to Pre-pandemic Levels for Asian, Hispanic Women

Surgery is an underused, and viable treatment option for patients with stage II pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Chemotherapy followed by resection showed a survival benefit compared to chemotherapy alone, or 19.75 months versus 10.12 months, respectively. However, only 18.6% of patients received surgery in addition to chemotherapy.

Surgery Viable Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer Patients Following Chemotherapy

Finally, a survey of patients with cancer and their caregivers and providers found that social work and nutrition services were regarded as important integrative oncology services. Patients and providers both stated that social work and nutrition were the easiest services to access and were used the most. Accessibility was positively correlated with perceived importance.

Survey: Integrative Oncology Service Use, Familiarity Among Patients, Caregivers, Providers