In a nutshell
This study evaluated the outcomes of maintenance therapy with lenalidomide (Revlimid) after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). This study concluded that longer lenalidomide maintenance leads to improved survival outcomes in these patients.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the bone marrow that can lead to abnormal immune cells. High-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT remains a key part of treatment for patients with MM. Previous studies have suggested that maintenance therapy after ASCT may improve patient outcomes.
Maintenance therapy is low-intensity therapy is given over an extended period to help keep cancer from coming back. Lenalidomide starves cancer cells and helps the immune system attack them. This leads to cancer cell death. The outcomes of lenalidomide maintenance therapy after ASCT for patients with MM remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 216 patients with MM. All patients received high-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT. 149 (69%) of all patients received lenalidomide maintenance therapy 3 months after ASCT. Patients were followed up for 41 months.
After the transplant, 52% of patients achieved a complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer). After maintenance therapy, this rate increased to 64%. At follow-up, the average progression-free survival (time from treatment until tumor growth or spread; PFS) was 41 months. Patients receiving lenalidomide for 24 months or more had a significantly higher PFS compared to patients treated for 12 – 24 months (77 months vs. 36.5 months).
40% of all patients experienced side effects. 24% of patients stopped maintenance due to side effects. 10% of patients needed a lower dose due to side effects.
The bottom line
This study concluded that longer lenalidomide maintenance leads to improved survival outcomes in patients with MM after ASCT.
The fine print
This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. More studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Leukemia & lymphoma
Jan 08, 2019
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