Endothelial injury and dysfunction with emerging immunotherapies in multiple myeloma, the impact of COVID-19, and endothelial protection with a focus on the evolving role of defibrotide

Blood Rev. 2024 Jul:66:101218. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2024.101218. Epub 2024 Jun 3.


Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) were among the groups impacted more severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher rates of severe disease and COVID-19-related mortality. MM and COVID-19, plus post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, are associated with endothelial dysfunction and injury, with overlapping inflammatory pathways and coagulopathies. Existing treatment options for MM, notably high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation and novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies and bispecific T-cell engaging antibodies, are also associated with endothelial cell injury and mechanism-related toxicities. These pathologies include cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity that may be exacerbated by underlying endotheliopathies. In the context of these overlapping risks, prophylaxis and treatment approaches mitigating the inflammatory and pro-coagulant effects of endothelial injury are important considerations for patient management, including cytokine receptor antagonists, thromboprophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin and direct oral anticoagulants, and direct endothelial protection with defibrotide in the appropriate clinical settings.

Keywords: Bispecific antibody; CAR T-cell therapy; COVID-19; Cytokine release syndrome; Immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome; Multiple myeloma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / immunology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / etiology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / therapy
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Multiple Myeloma* / complications
  • Multiple Myeloma* / immunology
  • Multiple Myeloma* / therapy
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides* / pharmacology
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides* / therapeutic use
  • SARS-CoV-2*


  • defibrotide
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides