Purpose: Observation is the current standard of care for smoldering multiple myeloma. We hypothesized that early intervention with lenalidomide could delay progression to symptomatic multiple myeloma.
Methods: We conducted a randomized trial that assessed the efficacy of single-agent lenalidomide compared with observation in patients with intermediate- or high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma. Lenalidomide was administered orally at a dose of 25 mg on days 1 to 21 of a 28-day cycle. The primary end point was progression-free survival, with disease progression requiring the development of end-organ damage attributable to multiple myeloma and biochemical progression.
Results: One hundred eighty-two patients were randomly assigned-92 patients to the lenalidomide arm and 90 to the observation arm. Median follow-up is 35 months. Response to therapy was observed in 50% (95% CI, 39% to 61%) of patients in the lenalidomide arm, with no responses in the observation arm. Progression-free survival was significantly longer with lenalidomide compared with observation (hazard ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.62; P = .002). One-, 2-, and 3-year progression-free survival was 98%, 93%, and 91% for the lenalidomide arm versus 89%, 76%, and 66% for the observation arm, respectively. Only six deaths have been reported, two in the lenalidomide arm versus four in the observation arm (hazard ratio for death, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.08 to 2.53). Grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic adverse events occurred in 25 patients (28%) on lenalidomide.
Conclusion: Early intervention with lenalidomide in smoldering multiple myeloma significantly delays progression to symptomatic multiple myeloma and the development of end-organ damage.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01169337.