• Corneal Epithelial Findings in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Treated with Antibody–Drug Conjugate Belantamab Mafodotin in the Pivotal, Randomized, DREAMM-2 Study

      Farooq, Asim V.; Degli Esposti, Simona; Popat, Rakesh; Thulasi, Praneetha; Lonial, Sagar; Nooka, Ajay K.; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Sborov, Douglas; Zaugg, Brian E.; Badros, Ashraf Z.; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-07-25)
      Introduction: Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) represent an unmet clinical need. Belantamab mafodotin (belamaf; GSK2857916) is a first-in-class antibody–drug conjugate (ADC; or immunoconjugate) that delivers a cytotoxic payload, monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF), to myeloma cells. In the phase II DREAMM-2 study (NCT03525678), single-agent belamaf (2.5 mg/kg) demonstrated clinically meaningful anti-myeloma activity (overall response rate 32%) in patients with heavily pretreated disease. Microcyst-like epithelial changes (MECs) were common, consistent with reports from other MMAF-containing ADCs. Methods: Corneal examination findings from patients in DREAMM-2 were reviewed, and the clinical descriptions and accompanying images (slit lamp microscopy and in vivo confocal microscopy [IVCM]) of representative events were selected. A literature review on corneal events reported with other ADCs was performed. Results: In most patients receiving single-agent belamaf (72%; 68/95), MECs were observed by slit lamp microscopy early in treatment (69% had their first event by dose 4). However, IVCM revealed hyperreflective material. Blurred vision (25%) and dry eye (15%) were commonly reported symptoms. Management of MECs included dose delays (47%)/reductions (25%), with few patients discontinuing due to MECs (1%). The first event resolved in most patients (grade ≥2 MECs and visual acuity[each 77%], blurred vision [67%], and dry eye [86%]), with no reports of permanent vision loss to date. A literature review confirmed that similar MECs were reported with other ADCs; however, event management strategies varied. The pathophysiology of MECs is unclear, though the ADC cytotoxic payload may contribute to on- or off-target effects on corneal epithelial cells. Conclusion: Single-agent belamaf represents a new treatment option for patients with RRMM. As with other ADCs, MECs were observed and additional research is warranted to determine their pathophysiology. A multidisciplinary approach, involving close collaboration between eye care professionals and hematologist/oncologists, is needed to determine appropriate diagnosis and management of these patients. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT03525678. © 2020, The Author(s).