Introduction: Recently, a report has suggested the efficacy and safety of thalidomide in refractory multiple myeloma. In an attempt to assess the efficacy and tolerance of thalidomide in advanced multiple myeloma (on behalf of the Intergroupe Franchophone dy Myelome (IFM)), we report the preliminary experience of the IFM with this drug.
Materials and methods: Patients with advanced multiple myeloma (n=27) were treated with an oral dose of thalidomide (median 400 mg/day). At the start of treatment, all patients had active disease and 20 patients had received at least one autologous transplantation.
Results: Median follow-up was 105 days from the first administration. The serum and/or urine levels of the M-component were reduced by at least 75% in four patients including one patient with a >90% reduction, by at least 50% in five patients and by at least 25% in three patients, giving a total response rate of 45% (12 out of 27 patients). Nine patients had stable disease and six patients had progressed disease. Short-term side-effects of thalidomide were generally moderate.
Conclusion: This study confirms that thalidomide is an effective agent in patients with advanced myeloma.