Novel Therapies in Light Chain Amyloidosis

Paolo Milani, Giampaolo Merlini, Giovanni Palladini
KI Reports 2018, 3 (3): 530-541
Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is the most common form of amyloidosis involving the kidney. It is characterized by albuminuria, progressing to overt nephrotic syndrome and eventually end-stage renal failure if diagnosed late or ineffectively treated, and in most cases by concomitant heart involvement. Cardiac amyloidosis is the main determinant of survival, whereas the risk of dialysis is predicted by baseline proteinuria and glomerular filtration rate, and by response to therapy. The backbone of treatment is chemotherapy targeting the underlying plasma cell clone, that needs to be risk-adapted due to the frailty of patients with AL amyloidosis who have cardiac and/or multiorgan involvement. Low-risk patients (∼20%) can be considered for autologous stem cell transplantation that can be preceded by induction and/or followed by consolidation with bortezomib-based regimens. Bortezomib combined with alkylators, such as melphalan, preferred in patients harboring t(11;14), or cyclophosphamide, is used in most intermediate-risk patients, and with cautious dose escalation in high-risk subjects. Novel, powerful anti-plasma cell agents, such as pomalidomide, ixazomib, and daratumumab, prove effective in the relapsed/refractory setting, and are being moved to upfront therapy in clinical trials. Novel approaches based on small molecules interfering with the amyloidogenic process and on antibodies targeting the amyloid deposits gave promising results in preliminary uncontrolled studies, are being tested in controlled trials, and will likely prove powerful complements to chemotherapy. Finally, improvements in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of organ damage are unveiling novel potential treatment targets, moving toward a cure for this dreadful disease.

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