Continuous therapy in standard- and high-risk newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma: A pooled analysis of 2 phase III trials

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2018 Dec:132:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2018.09.008. Epub 2018 Sep 14.


Background: Risk-adapted therapy is a common strategy in curable hematologic malignancies: standard-risk patients receive less intensive treatment, whereas high-risk patients require a more intensive approach. This model cannot be applied in multiple myeloma (MM), which is still incurable. Continuous treatment (CT) is a key strategy for MM treatment, since it improves duration of remission. However, the role of CT according to standard- or high-risk baseline prognosis remains an open question.

Patients and methods: We performed a pooled analysis of 2 phase III trials (GIMEMA-MM-03-05 and RV-MM-PI-209) that randomized patients to CT vs fixed-duration therapy (FDT).

Results: In the overall patient population (n = 550), CT improved progression-free survival1 (PFS1) (HR 0.54), PFS2 (HR 0.61) and overall survival (OS) (HR 0.71) vs FDT. CT improved PFS1 both in R-ISS I (HR 0.49) and R-ISS II/III patients (HR 0.55). Four-year PFS1 was 38% in R-ISS II/III patients receiving CT and 25% in R-ISS I patients receiving FDT, with similar trends for PFS2 and OS. High-risk patients benefited more from proteasome-inhibitor plus immunomodulatory-based CT than immunomodulatory alone.

Conclusion: Good prognosis patients receiving FDT lose their prognostic advantage over high-risk patients receiving CT and high-risk patients may benefit from more intensive maintenance including proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulators.

Keywords: Continuous therapy; High risk; Multiple myeloma; Newly diagnosed; Novel agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*