We present a pooled update of two large, multicenter MM-009 and MM-010 placebo-controlled randomized phase III trials that included 704 patients and assessed lenalidomide plus dexamethasone versus dexamethasone plus placebo in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). Patients in both studies were randomized to receive 25 mg daily oral lenalidomide or identical placebo, plus 40 mg oral dexamethasone. In this pooled analysis, using data up to unblinding (June 2005 for MM-009 and August 2005 for MM-010), treatment with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone significantly improved overall response (60.6 vs 21.9%, P<0.001), complete response rate (15.0 vs 2.0%, P<0.001), time to progression (median of 13.4 vs 4.6 months, P<0.001) and duration of response (median of 15.8 months vs 7 months, P<0.001) compared with dexamethasone-placebo. At a median follow-up of 48 months for surviving patients, using data up to July 2008, a significant benefit in overall survival (median of 38.0 vs 31.6 months, P=0.045) was retained despite 47.6% of patients who were randomized to dexamethasone-placebo receiving lenalidomide-based treatment after disease progression or study unblinding. Low beta(2)-microglobulin and low bone marrow plasmacytosis were associated with longer survival. In conclusion, these data confirm the significant response and survival benefit with lenalidomide and dexamethasone.