John Theurer Cancer Center Investigators Report Effectiveness of New Treatment for Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Triple-drug regimen shown to be superior to conventional treatment in major multicenter study presented at American Society of Hematology annual meeting 

Newswise — HACKENSACK, N.J., JANUARY 10, 2020 — Investigators at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey were part of the CANDOR global phase III clinical trial for patients with refractory (persistent) multiple myeloma. The study was selected as the prestigious plenary presentation at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, the world's leading conference for hematologic cancers and blood disorders, held in Orlando in December.                                

The CANDOR study showed that the addition of the anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody daratumumab to treatment with carfilzomib and dexamethasone was more effective than conventional carfilzomib and dexamethasone. Patients receiving the three-drug regimen experienced a 37% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death, establishing a new standard of care. Patients in the CANDOR trial had been heavily pretreated and most had failed to respond to lenalidomide, an immunomodulating drug that forms the backbone of most multiple myeloma treatment regimens. 

"In this population, we have had limited choices. This study shows that we can safely combine what are arguably the most active drugs for the treatment of myeloma," explained David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., founding director of John Theurer Cancer Center's Multiple Myeloma Institute, who led John Theurer Cancer Center's involvement in the study. "Treatment with daratumumab, carfilzomib, and dexamethasone represents a new effective regimen for patients with recurrent or persistent multiple myeloma, especially those whose disease came back or continues to grow after lenalidomide therapy." 

The phase III CANDOR study included 466 patients with multiple myeloma that persisted despite one to three prior regimens of therapy. Patients were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive either daratumumab, carfilzomib, and dexamethasone or carfilzomib and dexamethasone. After a median follow-up of 17 months, the median progression-free survival was not yet reached in the three-drug combination group, versus 16 months in patients receiving the standard therapy. Patients receiving three drugs had a better overall response rate (84.3% versus 74.7%) and a better rate of complete response or better (28.5% versus 10.4%), and the achievement of undetectable disease was nearly ten times higher (12.5% versus 1.3%). It was too early to detect any differences in overall survival. 

Side effects were generally manageable and the incidence of treatment discontinuation was similar in both groups. 

For additional information, please contact Mary McGeever with the Communications & Public Relations Department at 551-996-1730 or [email protected].

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, one of just 16 NCI-approved cancer research consortia based at the nation’s most prestigious institutions. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit

About Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in  colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 26 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit



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61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting