Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) remains an incurable malignancy, but new treatment modalities can achieve durable remissions in most cases. Remission is generally regarded as a window of opportunity for active immunotherapy, aimed at eradicating residual disease. For immunotherapy, and vaccination in particular, the expression of cancer testis antigens (CTAs) in MM has emerged as a key target that is essentially tumor-specific. These CTAs are expressed at disease presentation, many confirmed also at the protein level. However, the question has remained whether treatment might critically alter the expression profile of CTAs. To address this, we have examined the expression levels of a large panel of known CTAs using gene expression profiles (GEPs) from patient cohorts in clinical trials at defined stages: at disease presentation in HOVON-65 and post-treatment in the APEX, SUMMIT and CREST trials.
Methods and results: The APEX, SUMMIT and CREST trials have been described by Mulligan et al. (
Conclusion: These clinical trial data indicate that targeting CTAs with immunotherapy during first remission or after relapse of MM remains a viable option.
Disclosures: Mulligan:Millenium Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Bryant:Millenium Pharmaceuticals: Employment.