Cells. 2021 Mar 4;10(3):545. doi: 10.3390/cells10030545.
Systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is caused by a small B cell, most commonly a plasma cell (PC), clone that produces toxic light chains (LC) that cause organ dysfunction and deposits in tissues. Due to the production of amyloidogenic, misfolded LC, AL PCs display peculiar biologic features. The small, indolent plasma cell clone is an ideal target for anti-CD38 immunotherapy. A recent phase III randomized study showed that in newly diagnosed patients, the addition of daratumumab to the standard of care increased the rate and depth of the hematologic response and granted more frequent organ responses. In the relapsed/refractory setting, daratumumab alone or as part of combination regimens gave very promising results. It is likely that daratumumab-based regimens will become new standards of care in AL amyloidosis. Another anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, isatuximab, is at an earlier stage of development as a treatment for AL amyloidosis. The ability to target CD38 on the amyloid PC offers new powerful tools to treat AL amyloidosis. Future studies should define the preferable agents to combine with daratumumab upfront and in the rescue setting and assess the role of maintenance. In this review, we summarize the rationale for using anti-CD38 antibodies in the treatment of AL amyloidosis.