Characteristics and incidence of infections in patients with multiple myeloma treated by bispecific antibodies: a national retrospective study

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2024 Jun;30(6):764-771. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2024.02.023. Epub 2024 Mar 1.


Objectives: Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are an effective treatment used in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Despite a well-tolerated safety profile, infectious events appear to be frequent in clinical trials. Real-world data on epidemiology, characteristics, risk factors, and outcomes of infections in patients treated with BsAb are still needed.

Methods: A retrospective, multicentre study in BsAb-treated patients with multiple myeloma was performed in 14 French centres from December 2020 to February 2023. The primary objective was to describe the incidence of infections that required hospitalization, specific treatment, or adaptation in BsAb administration.

Results: Among 229 patients with multiple myeloma treated with BsAb, 153 (67%) received teclistamab, 47 (20%) received elranatamab, and 29 (13%) talquetamab. We reported a total of 234 infections, including 123 (53%) of grade of ≥3. Predominant infections affected the respiratory tract (n = 116, 50%) followed by bacteraemias (n = 36, 15%). The hospitalization rate was 56% (n = 131), and 20 (9%) infections resulted in death. Global cumulative incidence of the first infection was 70% in all patients, 73% in patients treated with B-cell maturation antigen-targeting, and 51% with GPRC5D-targeting BsAb. In univariate analyses, corticosteroids for cytokine release syndrome (CRS)/immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) were associated with a higher risk of first infection (HR = 2.13; 95% CI, 1.38-3.28), whereas GPRC5D-targeting BsAb and anti-bacterial prophylaxis were associated with a lower risk (HR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.3-0.94 and HR = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46-0.9). Fine and Gray multivariate model found that only corticosteroids for CRS/ICANS were correlated with a higher risk of first infection (HR = 2.01; 95% CI, 1.27-3.19).

Discussions: The implementation of preventive measures that aim to mitigate the risk of infection under BsAb is pivotal, notably in patients who received corticosteroids for CRS/ICANS.

Keywords: Adverse event; Bispecific antibodies; Epidemiology; Infections; Multicentric; Multiple myeloma; Retrospective.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Infections / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma* / drug therapy
  • Multiple Myeloma* / immunology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Antibodies, Bispecific