Phase 2 study of clarithromycin, pomalidomide, and dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

Blood Adv. 2019 Feb 26;3(4):603-611. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2018028027.


The addition of clarithromycin enhances the efficacy of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in treatment-naive multiple myeloma (MM). We conducted a phase 2 trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of clarithromycin, pomalidomide, and dexamethasone (ClaPd) in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) with prior lenalidomide exposure. One hundred twenty patients with a median of 5 prior lines of therapy received clarithromycin 500 mg orally twice daily, pomalidomide 4 mg orally on days 1 to 21, and dexamethasone 40 mg orally on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of a 28-day cycle. The overall response rate (ORR) was 60% with 23% achieving at least a very good partial response. There was no statistical difference in response rates for patients who were refractory to lenalidomide (ORR, 58%), bortezomib (ORR, 55%), or both lenalidomide and bortezomib (ORR, 54%). Median progression-free survival (PFS) for the cohort was 7.7 months and median overall survival (OS) was 19.2 months. A history of dual-refractoriness to lenalidomide and bortezomib did not significantly impact either PFS or OS. The most common toxicities were neutropenia (83%), lymphopenia (74%), and thrombocytopenia (71%). The most common grade ≥3 toxicities included neutropenia (58%), thrombocytopenia (31%), and anemia (28%). ClaPd is an effective combination in RRMM with response and survival outcomes that are independent of lenalidomide- or bortezomib-refractory status. Toxicities are manageable with low rates of nonhematologic or high-grade events. ClaPd is a convenient, all-oral option in RRMM with comparable efficacy to other highly active, 3-drug, pomalidomide-based combinations. This trial was registered at as #NCT01159574.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Clarithromycin / adverse effects
  • Clarithromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Dexamethasone / adverse effects
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thalidomide / adverse effects
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Thalidomide
  • Dexamethasone
  • pomalidomide
  • Clarithromycin

Associated data