New 3-drug regimen improves outcomes for myeloma patients

January 7, 2011

The addition of bortezomib to the standard induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with multiple myeloma appears to improve nearly threefold the rates of complete or near complete response, according to research published online in The Lancet, HealthDay News reported.

The addition of bortezomib to the standard induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with multiple myeloma appears to improve nearly threefold the rates of complete or near complete response, according to research published online in The Lancet, HealthDay News reported.

Researchers randomized 480 patients with untreated symptomatic myeloma to thalidomide plus dexamethasone (TD) or TD with bortezomib (VTD) to assess the safety and efficacy of the latter as an induction therapy before and consolidation therapy after double autologous stem cell transplantation. They found that complete or near complete response was achieved by 73 patients (31%) in the VTD group following induction therapy, compared with 27 (11%) of those receiving TD alone. Grade 3 and 4 adverse events were significantly higher in the VTD group, at 56% compared with 33% in the TD group.

“VTD induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation represents a new standard of care for patients with multiple myeloma who are eligible for transplant,” Michele Cavo, MD, of the Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli (Bologna, Italy) and lead researcher told Formulary.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen-Cilag, which provided bortezomib free of charge, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, which supported development of the report, along with Johnson & Johnson.