Despite the substantial improvement of therapeutic approaches, multiple myeloma (MM) remains mostly incurable. However, immunotherapeutic and especially T cell-based approaches pioneered the therapeutic landscape for relapsed and refractory disease recently. Targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) on myeloma cells has been demonstrated to be highly effective not only by antibody-derived constructs but also by adoptive cellular therapies. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-transgenic T cells lead to deep, albeit mostly not durable responses with manageable side-effects in intensively pretreated patients. The spectrum of adoptive T cell-transfer covers synthetic CARs with diverse specificities as well as currently less well-established T cell receptor (TCR)-based personalized strategies. In this review, we want to focus on treatment characteristics including efficacy and safety of CAR- and TCR-transgenic T cells in MM as well as the future potential these novel therapies may have. ACT with transgenic T cells has only entered clinical trials and various engineering strategies for optimization of T cell responses are necessary to overcome therapy resistance mechanisms. We want to outline the current success in engineering CAR- and TCR-T cells, but also discuss challenges including resistance mechanisms of MM for evading T cell therapy and point out possible novel strategies.
Keywords: CAR-T cells; T cell engineering; TCR-T cells; adoptive cellular therapy; multiple myeloma.