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Recent FDA Approval Gives More Myeloma Patients Chance at Long-Term Remission with a Stem Cell Transplant

Rye Brook, N.Y., September 28, 2023 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved motixafortide (Aphexda™) in combination with filgrastim to increase the amount of stem cells in the blood of patients with multiple myeloma so they can be collected and subsequently used in an autologous stem cell transplantation. 

“This new treatment will allow more multiple myeloma patients to get stem cell transplants, which are an important therapeutic option for this second most common blood cancer,” says Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Chief Scientific Officer. “With the number of new therapies and supportive methods to treat myeloma rapidly increasing, the hope is we can increase the duration of disease control for even more patients and get them to cures in the future.”  

Based on previous methods, only about 40-50 percent of multiple myeloma patients are able to collect optimal numbers of stem cells after multiple days of collection (called apheresis sessions).  With this new approval, over two thirds of patients reached the stem cell collection goal in up to two apheresis sessions, which is needed to perform at least two transplants, and is recommended by the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT). 

Motixafortide works on a receptor called CXCR4, which regulates the retention of stem cells within the bone marrow. Blockage of CXCR4 mobilizes stem cells within the bone marrow and releases them into the circulating blood. 

“The use of CXCR4 inhibitors is also being explored in leukemia and lymphomas where the drug might release cancer cells into the circulating blood, thereby allowing cancer therapy to more easily kill the cancer cells. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society continues to support such work,” says Dr. Greenberger.

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