Although autologous stem cell transplantation or melphalan-based chemotherapy has significantly improved the prognosis of POEMS syndrome, a few patients will relapse or be refractory to primary therapy, and there is a lack of studies regarding these patients. In this study, we used low-dose lenalidomide (10 mg daily) and dexamethasone (40 mg, once weekly) to treat twelve patients with relapsed (n = 8) or refractory (n = 4) POEMS syndrome. After a median follow-up time of 20 months, the overall hematologic response rate was 77% with 44% having a complete response. Eight (67%) patients had neurological response, and the median overall neuropathy limitation scale score was reduced from 3 (range, 1-9) to 2 (range, 0-6). Serum vascular endothelial growth factor response rate was 91% and 46% of patients had normal serum VEGF levels. One patient had progression of the disease 3 months after the end of treatment and subsequently died from the disease. Therefore, the estimated 2 year overall survival and progression-free survival were 92%. The low-dose lenalidomide and dexamethasone regimen was well tolerated, with no treatment-related death or any grade 3 or 4 toxicity. In conclusion, low-dose lenalidomide plus dexamethasone therapy is an effective and safe regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory POEMS syndrome.
Keywords: POEMS syndrome; lenalidomide; relapsed or refractory; vascular endothelial growth factor.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.