Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone with or without daratumumab before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (CASSIOPEIA): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 study

Lancet. 2019 Jul 6;394(10192):29-38. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31240-1. Epub 2019 Jun 3.


Background: Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTd) plus autologous stem-cell transplantation is standard treatment in Europe for transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. We evaluated whether the addition of daratumumab to VTd before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation would improve stringent complete response rate in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Methods: In this two-part, randomised, open-label, phase 3 CASSIOPEIA trial, we recruited transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma at 111 European sites. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive four pre-transplant induction and two post-transplant consolidation cycles of VTd alone (VTd group) or in combination with daratumumab (D-VTd group). The primary endpoint of part 1 was stringent complete response assessed 100 days after transplantation. Part 2 (maintenance) is ongoing. The trial is registered with, number NCT02541383.

Findings: Between Sept 22, 2015, and Aug 1, 2017, 1085 patients were enrolled at 111 European sites and were randomly assigned to the D-VTd group (n=543) or the VTd group (n=542). At day 100 after transplantation, 157 (29%) of 543 patients in the D-VTd group and 110 (20%) of 542 patients in the VTd group in the intention-to-treat population had achieved a stringent complete response (odds ratio 1·60, 95% CI 1·21-2·12, p=0·0010). 211 (39%) patients in the D-VTd group versus 141 (26%) in the VTd group achieved a complete response or better, and 346 (64%) of 543 versus 236 (44%) of 542 achieved minimal residual disease-negativity (10-5 sensitivity threshold, assessed by multiparametric flow cytometry; both p<0·0001). Median progression-free survival from first randomisation was not reached in either group (hazard ratio 0·47, 95% CI 0·33-0·67, p<0·0001). 46 deaths on study were observed (14 vs 32, 0·43, 95% CI 0·23-0·80). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (28% vs 15%), lymphopenia (17% vs 10%), and stomatitis (13% vs 16%).

Interpretation: D-VTd before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation improved depth of response and progression-free survival with acceptable safety. CASSIOPEIA is the first study showing the clinical benefit of daratumumab plus standard of care in transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Funding: The Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome and Dutch-Belgian Cooperative Trial Group for Hematology Oncology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib / administration & dosage
  • Bortezomib / therapeutic use
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • daratumumab
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib
  • Dexamethasone

Associated data