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Understanding Darzalex

This booklet addresses a highly effective new medication to treat myeloma, a laboratory-made monoclonal antibody that targets a specific single protein on the surface of myeloma cells. Of the four new therapies for myeloma approved in 2015 by the FDA, only Darzalex has single-agent activity and was approved with “breakthrough” status. 


You can view the entire document as a PDF by clicking on the icon below, or by requesting a free hard copy from the Foundation. 

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Darzalex® (also known by its generic drug name, daratumumab) is a monoclonal antibody that enlists immune system cells to help attack and kill myeloma cells. It is a highly effective medica­tion to treat myeloma. Although antibodies are a naturally-occurring part of the immune system, Darzalex and other antibodies used to treat cancer are made in a lab­oratory. A laboratory-made antibody is designed to function like a naturally occurring antibody (or “immunoglobu­lin,” as an antibody is also known) and to target a specific single protein on the surface of cancer cells. It is therefore also called a “targeted therapy.” This booklet will familiarize you with the way Darzalex works, how it was tested and approved, how and when it is administered, its possible side effects, and how to manage those side effects. 

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