SEATTLE – (May 13, 2021) - Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), the only National Comprehensive Cancer Network designated cancer center in Washington State, today announced that it is an authorized treatment center for the new B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, idecabtagene vicleucel, also known as ide-cel.
Ide-cel was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 26, 2021, and is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma after four or more prior lines of therapy including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory therapy and an anti-CD38 antibody. It is the first cell-based gene therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of multiple myeloma and is being marketed under the brand name Abecma.®
“We are pleased to offer this new advanced therapy to patients who are suffering from relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma,” said Nancy Davidson, MD, president and executive director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “We are committed to delivering personalized care to our patients and improving patient outcomes and excited to be among the first cancer centers in the nation to offer this treatment to adult patients with multiple myeloma.”
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in which abnormal plasma cells build up in bone marrow and limit the body’s ability to make enough healthy blood cells, thus resulting in low blood counts. Multiple myeloma is also associated with bone and kidney damage as well as a weakened immune system. There are over 140,000 people in the United States living with this cancer and according the American Cancer Society approximately 34,920 new cases will be diagnosed in 2021, and 12,410 deaths among those with multiple myeloma will occur.
Ide-cel is a one-time therapy that is created from a patient’s own white blood cells, which have been modified to recognize and attack myeloma cells. As an anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy, ide-cel recognizes and binds to BCMA, a protein that is nearly universally expressed on cancer cells in multiple myeloma, leading to the death of BCMA-expressing cells.
In the clinical study that supported its approval, ide-cel was shown to be safe and effective. Approximately 72% of patients partially or completely responded to the treatment with 28% of patients showing complete response. An estimated 65% of this group remained in complete response to ide-cel for at least 12 months.
“The FDA approval of this novel therapy is a significant milestone in the advancement of new, innovative therapies for multiple myeloma,” said David Maloney, MD, PhD, medical director for cellular immunotherapy at the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “We are excited about the continued expansion of CAR T-cell treatment options available to our patients, and the potential ide-cel offers to extend the lives of those who have multiple myeloma.”
“Our clinical trials at the SCCA have provided us with extensive experience using BCMA CAR T-cells for multiple myeloma. The new FDA approval allows our to leverage this knowledge and safely bring a promising therapy to a wider population of adult patients with multiple myeloma,” said Damian Green, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Associate Professor, and who leads translational myeloma research programs at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
SCCA is home to several of the world’s leading immunotherapy experts whose research has contributed to the foundation of many immunotherapies currently used to treat cancer. SCCA’s Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic, which opened in 2016, is a state-of-the-art center dedicated to offering the newest cellular immunotherapy clinical trials and FDA approved treatments.
About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine — one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has nine clinical care sites in the region, including a medical oncology clinic at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland; hematology/medical oncology and infusion services at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medical Center - Northwest Seattle and medical oncology services at SCCA Issaquah, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. For more information about SCCA, visit seattlecca.org.
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