Detailed overview of incidence and management of cytokine release syndrome observed with teclistamab in the MajesTEC-1 study of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma

Thomas G. Martin, Maria Victoria Mateos, Ajay Nooka, Arnob Banerjee, Rachel Kobos, Lixia Pei, Ming Qi, Raluca Verona, Margaret Doyle, Jennifer Smit, Weili Sun, Danielle Trancucci, Clarissa Uhlar, Niels W.C.J. van de Donk, Cesar Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Teclistamab, a B-cell maturation antigen × CD3 bispecific antibody, demonstrated an overall response rate of 63.0% in 165 heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in the phase 1/2 MajesTEC-1 study. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a known manifestation of T-cell redirection, was observed in 119 of 165 patients (72.1%). Methods: Patients received once-weekly teclistamab 1.5 mg/kg subcutaneously after two step-up doses (0.06 and 0.3 mg/kg). CRS was graded according to American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy criteria and managed according to the study protocol, including use of tocilizumab and/or steroids. Results: Most cases of CRS occurred during the step-up dosing schedule of teclistamab and were grade 1 (50.3% of patients) or grade 2 (21.2% of patients); a single case of grade 3 CRS was reported in a patient with concurrent grade 3 pneumonia. All CRS cases resolved and none led to treatment discontinuation. Overall, 33.3% of patients had >1 CRS event; CRS recurrence was reduced when tocilizumab was administered for the first CRS event compared with when it was not (20.0% vs. 62.2%, respectively). Baseline characteristics such as tumor burden and cytokine levels did not appear to predict CRS incidence or severity. Conclusions: Findings of this study support the need for preemptive planning and prompt management of CRS in patients treated with T-cell–engaging bispecific antibodies. Intervention with tocilizumab for CRS appears to decrease the likelihood of patients experiencing subsequent CRS events without compromising response to teclistamab. Plain language summary: Cytokine release syndrome (CRS), observed in 72.1% of patients treated with teclistamab in the MajesTEC-1 study, was mostly grade 1 or 2 and manageable, without requiring treatment discontinuation. Most CRS occurred during the step-up schedule, requiring vigilance during treatment initiation. Ensure fever is resolved and patients have no signs of infection before initiating the teclistamab step-up schedule or administering the next teclistamab dose, to avoid exacerbating CRS. Tocilizumab reduced the risk of subsequent CRS in patients receiving it for their first CRS event (20.0% vs. 62.2% in those not receiving it), without affecting response to teclistamab. No baseline characteristics, including tumor burden or cytokine levels, appeared to clearly predict for CRS occurrence or severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2035-2046
Number of pages12
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • B-cell maturation antigen
  • antibodies, bispecific
  • cytokine release syndrome
  • multiple myeloma
  • steroids
  • tocilizumab


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