Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 5;22(19):10761. doi: 10.3390/ijms221910761.
The prognosis of multiple myeloma (MM) has drastically improved owing to the development of new drugs, such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs. Nevertheless, MM is an extremely challenging disease, and many patients are still refractory to the existing therapies, thus requiring new treatment alternatives. Venetoclax is a selective, orally bioavailable inhibitor of BCL-2 that shows efficacy in MM not only as a single agent but also in combination therapy, especially for MM patients with translocation t(11;14). However, many patients are refractory to this drug. Here, we treated the MM cell lines KMS12PE and KMS27 with a combination treatment of venetoclax targeting BCL-2 and daratumumab targeting CD38 to evaluate the synergistic cytotoxicity of these drugs in vitro. MM cell lines were co-cultured with natural killer (NK) cells at an effector:target ratio of 0.3:1 in the presence of serial concentrations of daratumumab and venetoclax, and the resulting apoptotic MM cells were detected by flow cytometry using annexin V. These results indicated that the antibody-dependent cell-mediated NK cytotoxicity was enhanced in KMS12PE and KMS27 cells harboring t(11;14) with a high BCL-2 expression, suggesting that the combination treatment of venetoclax and daratumumab should be especially effective in patients with these characteristics.