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Standard treatment plus bortezomib may be better first-line treatment for multiple myeloma

Friday, December 10, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/13/2010)

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of bortezomib to the standard induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with multiple myeloma appears to improve rates of complete or near complete response nearly three-fold, according to research published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

Michele Cavo, M.D., of the Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli in Bologna, Italy, and colleagues 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.

Six patients withdrew from the trial. The researchers found that complete or near complete response was achieved by 73 patients (31 percent) in the VTD group following induction therapy, compared with 27 (11 percent) of those receiving TD alone. Grade 3 and 4 adverse events were significantly higher in the VTD group, at 56 percent compared with 33 percent.

"VTD induction therapy before double autologous stem-cell transplantation significantly improves rate of complete or near complete response, and represents a new standard of care for patients with multiple myeloma who are eligible for transplant," the authors write.

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.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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