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Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Multiple Myeloma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of bortezomib (Velcade) and lenalidomide (Revlimid) for patients with multiple myeloma after stem cell transplantation. This study found this combination is effective for these patients, with few side effects.

Some background

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a type of cancer of the bone marrow that can lead to abnormal immune cells. For eligible patients, autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) is a standard option. Typically, additional treatment is needed after the transplant to make sure the cancer cells are gone. This type of treatment is called consolidation therapy. 

Many patients with MM develop bone disease as a result of anti-cancer therapy. This complication is usually treated with agents like dexamethasone. This agent helps prevent bone loss, but its long-term use is associated with side effects. The safety and effectiveness of bortezomib plus lenalidomide without dexamethasone (Decadron) after ASCT is unclear.

Methods & findings

This study involved 59 patients with newly diagnosed MM. All patients underwent ASCT. After the transplant, all patients received bortezomib and lenalidomide. Patients did not receive dexamethasone. Patients were followed-up for an average of 62 months.

After ASCT, 24% of patients had complete disappearance of all signs of cancer. After treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide, this rate increased to 51%. Consolidation therapy improved treatment response in 39% of patients.

At follow-up, no bone-related side effects were reported in any patients. For all patients, the probability of achieving 4-year overall survival (remaining alive for 4 years after treatment; OS) was 81%. The probability of achieving 5-year OS was 64%.

The bottom line

This study concluded that treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide for patients with MM is effective and safe. 

The fine print

This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. Also, this study is very small. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results. 

What’s next?

Talk to your oncologist about your treatment plan. 

Published By :

American Journal of Hematology

Date :

Dec 27, 2018

Original Title :

Consolidation therapy with the combination of bortezomib and lenalidomide (VR) without dexamethasone in multiple myeloma patients after transplant: Effects on survival and bone outcomes in the absence of bisphosphonates.

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