Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 Oct 31;9(11):ofac574. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofac574. eCollection 2022 Nov.


BACKGROUND: Patients with multiple myeloma are at higher risk for infections due to disease pathogenesis and administered therapies. The purpose of this study was to estimate the risk for any grade and severe infections associated with the use of anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies in patients with multiple myeloma.

METHODS: We searched PubMed and EMBASE for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that included patients with multiple myeloma who received CD38-targeting monoclonal antibody regimens and reported outcomes of infection and performed a random-effects meta-analysis to estimate the relative risk for infections.

RESULTS: After screening 673 citations, we retrieved 17 studies providing data on 11 RCTs. Overall, the included reports evaluated 5316 patients (2797 in the intervention arm and 2519 in the control arm). The relative risk (RR) for both any grade or severe infections was 1.27 (95% CI, 1.17-1.37 and 1.14-1.41, respectively). The cumulative incidence of any grade infections for patients who received anti-CD38 agents was 77% (95% CI, 68%-86%), while for severe infections it was 28% (95% CI, 23%-34%). Patients treated with anti-CD38 agents had a 39% higher risk for any grade pneumonia (RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.12-1.72) and a 38% higher risk for severe pneumonia (RR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.75). For upper respiratory tract infections, the relative risk was 1.51 and 1.71 for any grade and severe infections, respectively. Regarding varicella-zoster virus (VZV) reactivation, we found no evidence of increased risk (RR, 3.86; 95% CI, 0.66-22.50).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with multiple myeloma treated with regimens that included an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody were at higher risk for any grade or severe infections without an associated higher mortality rate during the follow-up period of the retrieved studies. No evidence of increased risk for VZV reactivation was noted, but there was a significant association between CD38-targeting treatment and pneumonia risk. Increased surveillance for infections, development of effective prophylactic strategies, and studies with long follow-up are needed for patients with multiple myeloma treated with anti-CD38-based regimens.

PMID:36438616 PMC:PMC9685179