Conventional Therapy for Amyloid Light-Chain Amyloidosis

Acta Haematol. 2020;143(4):365-372. doi: 10.1159/000507072. Epub 2020 Apr 30.


The vast majority of patients with light-chain (AL) amyloidosis are not eligible for stem cell transplant and are treated with conventional chemotherapy. Conventional regimens are based on various combinations of dexamethasone, alkylating agents, proteasome inhibitors, and immunomodulatory drugs. The choice of these regimens requires a careful risk stratification, based on the extent of amyloid organ involvement, comorbidities, and the characteristics of the amyloidogenic plasma cell clone. Most patients are treated upfront with bortezomib and dexamethasone combined with cyclophosphamide or melphalan. Cyclophosphamide does not compromise stem cell mobilization and harvest and is more manageable in renal failure. Melphalan can overcome the effect of t(11;14), which is associated with lower response rates and shorter survival in subjects treated with bortezomib and dexamethasone, or in combination with cyclophosphamide. Lenalidomide and pomalidomide are the mainstay of rescue treatment. They are effective in patients exposed to bortezomib, dexamethasone, and alkylators, but deep hematologic responses are rare. Ixazomib, alone or in combination with lenalidomide, increases the rate of complete responses in relapsed/refractory patients. Conventional chemotherapy regimens will represent the backbone for future combinations, particularly with anti-plasma-cell immunotherapy, that will further improve response rates and outcomes.

Keywords: Amyloidosis; Cancer therapy; Clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light-chain Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Immunoglobulin Light-chain Amyloidosis / etiology
  • Immunoglobulin Light-chain Amyloidosis / therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers