Phase 2 study using oral thalidomide-cyclophosphamide-prednisone for idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease

Blood. 2019 Apr 18;133(16):1720-1728. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-11-884577. Epub 2019 Feb 13.


Idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) is a rare lymphoproliferative disorder. The anti-interleukin 6 (IL-6) therapy siltuximab is not available everywhere, and is not effective for over one-half of patients. Alternative treatment approaches are urgently needed. In the first iMCD clinical trial directed against a target other than IL-6 signaling, we investigated a thalidomide-cyclophosphamide-prednisone (TCP) regimen in newly diagnosed iMCD patients. This single-center, single-arm, phase 2 study enrolled 25 newly diagnosed iMCD patients between June 2015 and June 2018. The TCP regimen (thalidomide 100 mg daily for 2 years; oral cyclophosphamide 300 mg/m2 weekly for 1 year; prednisone 1 mg/kg twice a week for 1 year) was administered for 2 years or until treatment failure. The primary end point was durable tumor and symptomatic response for at least 24 weeks. Twelve patients (48%) achieved the primary end point with no relapse, 3 patients (12%) demonstrated stable disease, and 10 patients (40%) were evaluated as treatment failure. Even when considering all patients, there were significant (P < .05) improvements in median symptom score, IL-6 level, hemoglobin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, albumin, and immunoglobulin G. Among responders, the median levels of all evaluated parameters significantly improved, to the normal range, after treatment. The regimen was well tolerated. One patient died of pulmonary infection and 1 patient had a grade 3 adverse event (rash); 2 patients died following disease progression. Estimated 1-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 60% and 88%, respectively. The TCP regimen is an effective and safe treatment of newly diagnosed iMCD patients, particularly when siltuximab is unavailable. This trial was registered at as #NCT03043105.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Castleman Disease / drug therapy*
  • Castleman Disease / mortality
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Thalidomide
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone

Supplementary concepts

  • Multi-centric Castleman's Disease

Associated data