INTRODUCTION: Belantamab mafodotin (BLMF) is a first-in-class, antibody-drug conjugate targeting B-cell maturation antigen on myeloma cells. BLMF was approved for use in patients (pts) with advanced multiple myeloma (MM). Due to the risk of ocular toxicity, it is made available through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy. It is speculated that monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF), the cytotoxic payload of BLMF may be internalised by the corneal epithelium via an off-target mechanism, leading to epithelial changes. In the pivotal DREAMM-2 trial, only 1% of pts permanently discontinued treatment due to keratopathy. Data regarding BLMF-induced ocular toxicity following its commercial availability since August 2020, are sparse, and in this context, we evaluated our clinical experience with BLMF to determine the impact of its ocular toxicity on outcomes when utilized outside of stringent clinical trial settings.

METHODS: We reviewed records of pts with advanced MM who were evaluated at Mayo Clinic between 09/01/2020-07/01/2021 and initiated on BLMF monotherapy following a baseline ophthalmic examination that was also performed prior to each dose, and as needed for worsening ocular symptoms. Data pertaining to ocular symptoms, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and corneal examinations were collected and analyzed with respect to patient outcomes. Adverse events were graded using the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events v5.0.

RESULTS: Thirty-four pts, with median age of 67 (range:49-90) years who received BLMF at the approved 2.5 mg/kg dose as their first infusion and completed at least one cycle were included. All patients were instructed to use preservative-free lubricant eye drops at least 4 times a day, starting with the initial infusion and continuing until the end of therapy, and avoid contact lenses. The median number of prior lines of therapy was 8 (range: 2-15). The median time to BLMF initiation from the diagnosis of MM was 7.5 (range: 1.3-19.7) years.

The median follow-up from initiation of BLMF was 7 [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.7-8.6] months, and the median number of BLMF doses administered was 2 (range: 1-6). Twenty-seven (79%) pts experienced ocular toxicity, comprising keratopathy [n=25 (74%)] and/or decreased visual acuity [n=21 (62%)]. Table 1 outlines the keratopathy-related details. Thirteen pts (38%) developed symptomatic xerophthalmia.

A clinically significant decrease in BCVA of equal or worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye was observed in 12 (35%) pts at a median of 1.7 (95%CI: 1.4-2.2) months of commencing BLMF. In 7 (58%) pts, it improved to better than 20/40 within a median of 3 (range: 0.7-4) months from the time of documentation of impaired BCVA following withholding treatment (n=5), with or without subsequent dose reduction or its permanent discontinuation (n=2).

Treatment was permanently discontinued in 5 (15%) pts after a median of 3 doses due to grade ≥2 keratopathy. It was withheld in 9 (26%) due to grade ≥2 keratopathy. Four (12%) pts required dose reduction due to keratopathy (Table 1). Of 14 pts in whom BLMF was held or permanently discontinued due to keratopathy, 10 (77%) had disease progression within a median of 1 month (range 0.4-2.5) following BLMF interruption.

Among 11 pts (32%) responded to BLMF, 45% developed grade 2 or higher keratopathy after the first dose compared to 13% of pts who were refractory to BLMF (n=23). The median duration of response was 4 (95%CI: 0.7-NR) months. Among responders, 2 pts (18%) had to permanently discontinue BLMF due to keratopathy, with subsequent progression from partial remission at 1.4 and 4.6 months following its discontinuation. Additionally, 73% of responders required dose withholding due to keratopathy and of those, 50% had evidence of disease progression within a median of 1.2 month (range: 0.7-1.7) following BLMF interruption.

DISCUSSION & CONCLUSIONS: Despite efficacy in pts with advanced MM, in routine practice, ocular toxicity of BLMF is a major challenge and a deterrent to its continuous use. While frequent ocular toxicity-related interruptions were observed at expected rates, permanent treatment discontinuation due to keratopathy was observed in a higher proportion of pts than that encountered in the DREAMM-2 trial. Larger prospective studies are warranted to accurately discern the effects of ocular toxicities on outcomes of pts treated with BLMF.


Patel:Emmecell: Consultancy; GlaxoSmithKline: Consultancy; Senju Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Santen, Inc.: Consultancy. Kumar:Abbvie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; BMS: Consultancy, Research Funding; Roche-Genentech: Consultancy, Research Funding; Carsgen: Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; KITE: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Amgen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Tenebio: Research Funding; Beigene: Consultancy; Oncopeptides: Consultancy; Antengene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Bluebird Bio: Consultancy; Adaptive: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Sanofi: Research Funding. Ailawadhi:AbbVie: Consultancy; Xencor: Research Funding; Medimmune: Research Funding; Genentech: Consultancy; Ascentage: Research Funding; Takeda: Consultancy; Sanofi: Consultancy; Amgen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Cellectar: Research Funding; BMS: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding; GSK: Consultancy, Research Funding; Karyopharm: Consultancy; Beigene: Consultancy. Bergsagel:Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria; GSK: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Patents & Royalties: human CRBN mouse; Genetech: Consultancy, Honoraria; Oncopeptides: Consultancy, Honoraria; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria. Gertz:Ionis Pharmaceuticals: Other: Advisory Board; Akcea Therapeutics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc, Prothena: Consultancy; Akcea Therapeutics, Ambry Genetics, Amgen Inc, Celgene Corporation, Janssen Biotech Inc, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Pfizer Inc (to Institution), Sanofi Genzyme: Honoraria; Aurora Biopharma: Other: Stock option; AbbVie Inc, Celgene Corporation: Other: Data Safetly & Monitoring. Kapoor:Karyopharm: Consultancy; AbbVie: Research Funding; Sanofi: Research Funding; Takeda: Research Funding; Cellectar: Consultancy; BeiGene: Consultancy; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy; Sanofi: Consultancy; Amgen: Research Funding; Ichnos Sciences: Research Funding; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Research Funding; Glaxo SmithKline: Research Funding; Karyopharm: Research Funding.

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