The combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), bortezomib and dexamethasone has shown efficacy in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Our earlier retrospective study suggested that modification of the doses, schedules and route of administration of these drugs appears to reduce toxicity without compromising anti-MM activity. As a result, we evaluated this modified drug combination in the frontline setting in a prospective multicentre phase II trial. Thirty-five previously untreated MM patients were enrolled. Dexamethasone IV 40 mg, bortezomib 1 mg/m(2) and PLD 5 mg/m(2) were administered on days 1, 4, 8 and 11 of a 4-week cycle. Patients were treated to their maximum response plus two additional cycles. The treatment regimen was discontinued after a maximum of eight cycles. Our modified schedule and dosing regimen achieved a high overall response rate of 86%, while showing a marked decrease in the incidence and severity of peripheral neuropathy, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia and myelosuppression compared to the standard dosing on a 3-week cycle using these drugs. This modified regimen of dexamethasone, bortezomib and PLD shows improved tolerability and safety while maintaining a high response rate when compared to standard treatment with these agents in the frontline setting.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.