Purpose: Cardiovascular adverse events (CVAEs) can occur during proteasome inhibitor (PI) therapy. We conducted a prospective, observational, multi-institutional study to define risk factors and outcomes in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) receiving PIs.
Patients and methods: Patients with relapsed MM initiating carfilzomib- or bortezomib-based therapy underwent baseline assessments and repeated assessments at regular intervals over 6 months, including cardiac biomarkers (troponin I or T, brain natriuretic peptide [BNP], and N-terminal proBNP), ECG, and echocardiography. Monitoring occurred over 18 months for development of CVAEs.
Results: Of 95 patients enrolled, 65 received carfilzomib and 30 received bortezomib, with median 25 months of follow-up. Sixty-four CVAEs occurred, with 55% grade 3 or greater in severity. CVAEs occurred in 51% of patients treated with carfilzomib and 17% of those treated with bortezomib (P = .002). Median time to first CVAE from treatment start was 31 days, and 86% occurred within the first 3 months. Patients receiving carfilzomib-based therapy with a baseline elevated BNP level higher than 100 pg/mL or N-terminal proBNP level higher than 125 pg/mL had increased risk for CVAE (odds ratio, 10.8; P < .001). Elevated natriuretic peptides occurring mid-first cycle of treatment with carfilzomib were associated with a substantially higher risk of CVAEs (odds ratio, 36.0; P < .001). Patients who experienced a CVAE had inferior progression-free survival (log-rank P = .01) and overall survival (log-rank P < .001). PI therapy was safely resumed in 89% of patients, although 41% required chemotherapy modifications.
Conclusion: CVAEs are common during PI therapy for relapsed MM, especially with carfilzomib, particularly within the first 3 months of therapy. CVAEs were associated with worse overall outcomes, but usually, discontinuation of therapy was not required. Natriuretic peptides were highly predictive of CVAEs; however, validation of this finding is necessary before uniform incorporation into the routine management of patients receiving carfilzomib.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02178579.