Advances in treatment for relapses and refractory multiple myeloma

Med Oncol. 2010 Jun;27 Suppl 1:S25-42. doi: 10.1007/s12032-009-9407-5. Epub 2010 Mar 6.


Recent advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma have resulted in improved response rates and overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma. These advances are largely due to thalidomide-, lenalidomide-, and bortezomib-based combinations that have improved response rates, not only in patients with untreated disease, but also in those with relapsed and/or refractory myeloma, in some cases producing response rates up to 85%. Eventually, however, nearly all patients relapse, emphasizing a continuing role for the introduction of investigational agents that overcome drug resistance. This article will review the current role for thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib-based combinations, as well as some preliminary findings for promising investigational agents currently in clinical trials for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use


  • Boronic Acids
  • Pyrazines
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib