Background: Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a reference treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma. The combination of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has shown efficacy in a phase 1 and 2 study in relapsed multiple myeloma.
Methods: We randomly assigned 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma to carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (carfilzomib group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). The primary end point was progression-free survival.
Results: Progression-free survival was significantly improved with carfilzomib (median, 26.3 months, vs. 17.6 months in the control group; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.83; P=0.0001). The median overall survival was not reached in either group at the interim analysis. The Kaplan-Meier 24-month overall survival rates were 73.3% and 65.0% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio for death, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.99; P=0.04). The rates of overall response (partial response or better) were 87.1% and 66.7% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (P<0.001; 31.8% and 9.3% of patients in the respective groups had a complete response or better; 14.1% and 4.3% had a stringent complete response). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 83.7% and 80.7% of patients in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively; 15.3% and 17.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse events. Patients in the carfilzomib group reported superior health-related quality of life.
Conclusions: In patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone resulted in significantly improved progression-free survival at the interim analysis and had a favorable risk-benefit profile. (Funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01080391.).