The use of novel agents in the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma

Leukemia. 2009 Dec;23(12):2222-32. doi: 10.1038/leu.2009.179. Epub 2009 Sep 10.


Although outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved over the past decade, the disease remains incurable and even patients who respond well to induction therapy ultimately relapse and require additional treatment. Conventional chemotherapy and high-dose therapy with stem cell transplantation (SCT) have historically been utilized in the management of relapsed MM, but in recent years the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) thalidomide and lenalidomide, as well as the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, have assumed a primary role in this setting. This review focuses on the role of thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib in relapsed and refractory MM, with additional discussion dedicated to emerging drugs in relapsed MM that may prove beneficial to patients with this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lenalidomide
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Boronic Acids
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib
  • Lenalidomide