Geographic and Racial Disparities in Access to Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T Cells and Bispecific Antibodies Trials for Multiple Myeloma

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2228877. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.28877.


Importance: The use of chimeric antigen receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapy and bispecific antibodies in multiple myeloma is expanding, with encouraging early results. It is unknown if the current geographic distribution of CAR-T therapy and bispecific antibodies in multiple myeloma allows access for patients in need, especially for Black populations, which have a higher incidence of multiple myeloma.

Objective: To investigate if the current geographic distribution of CAR-T cell therapy and bispecific antibodies for multiple myeloma allows equitable access for Black patients with multiple myeloma.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study of data from CAR-T therapy and bispecific antibodies multiple myeloma clinical trials for all available studies listed in until January 31, 2022. Only studies with 1 or more open sites in the US were analyzed. Data were analyzed February 2022.

Results: A total of 162 clinical trials were found, and 69 analyzed-7896 participants were either enrolled or expected to enroll, with 4386 participants (55.5%) enrolled or to be enrolled in CAR-T therapies clinical trials. The vast majority of clinical trials (66 [96%]) were sponsored by industry, and there were 140 clinical trials sites. The mean number of sites per trial was 8.1 (7.8 for CAR-T trials [range, 1-30 trials] vs 8.7 for bispecific antibodies [range, 1-26 trials]). Only 35.9% of Black patients lived in a county with an open trial. For the 10 states with the highest proportion of Black residents (ranging from 18.6% to 41.4%), 6 of those states (60%) had no (3 states) or less than 3 clinical trial openings (3 states) for either a CAR-T or bispecific antibody study.

Conclusions and relevance: In this cross-sectional study, we found that the geographic distribution of clinical trials for CAR-T and bispecific antibodies may contribute to disparities in access to the most advanced clinical trials for new multiple myeloma therapies. Since most of the ongoing trials were sponsored by industry, regulating the distribution of clinical trial sites may reduce these inequities.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Geography
  • Healthcare Disparities* / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma* / drug therapy
  • Racial Groups
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / therapeutic use
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen