Publications by authors named "Elena Zamagni"

103 Publications

Subcutaneous bortezomib-containing regimens as up-front treatment of newly diagnosed transplant-eligible multiple myeloma patients: a retrospective, non-interventional observational study.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Mar 18:1-10. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Bologna, Italy.

Subcutaneous (SC) bortezomib-based regimens represent the standard induction therapy prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. Published data are based principally on intravenous (IV) administration: this retrospective observational study aimed to define patients' outcomes upon SC bortezomib administration, before and after ASCT. Of 131 enrolled patients, 86% received bortezomib-dexamethasone plus thalidomide (VTD), 5% plus cyclophosphamide (VCD), and 9% alone (VD), for a median of 4 cycles induction therapy, followed by single (52%) or double (48%) ASCT. 48 patients received consolidation with the same induction regimen. 35% had at least one adverse event, mainly gastrointestinal disorders and peripheral neuropathy (PN). ORR was 93.1%, 97.7% and 100%, after induction, ASCT(s) and consolidation, respectively. Median PFS and PFS2 were 55.8 months and 72 months, respectively, (median follow-up 45.3 months), while median OS was unreached. Concluding, SC bortezomib has similar efficacy with reduced PN than IV administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1897805DOI Listing
March 2021

Expert review on soft-tissue plasmacytomas in multiple myeloma: definition, disease assessment and treatment considerations.

Br J Haematol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

In this review, two types of soft-tissue involvement in multiple myeloma are defined: (i) extramedullary (EMD) with haematogenous spread involving only soft tissues and (ii) paraskeletal (PS) with tumour masses arising from skeletal lesions. The incidence of EMD and PS plasmacytomas at diagnosis ranges from 1·7% to 4·5% and 7% to 34·4% respectively. EMD disease is often associated with high-risk cytogenetics, resistance to therapy and worse prognosis than in PS involvement. In patients with PS involvement a proteasome inhibitor-based regimen may be the best option followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in transplant eligible patients. In patients with EMD disease who are not eligible for ASCT, a proteasome inhibitor-based regimen such as lenalidomide-bortezomib-dexamethasone (RVD) may be the best option, while for those eligible for high-dose therapy a myeloma/lymphoma-like regimen such as bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone (VTD)-RVD/cisplatin, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide (PACE) followed by SCT should be considered. In both EMD and PS disease at relapse many strategies have been tried, but this remains a high-unmet need population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17338DOI Listing
March 2021

Treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma: recommendations from the International Myeloma Working Group.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03;22(3):e105-e118

Division of Hematologic Malignancy, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

This Policy Review presents the International Myeloma Working Group's clinical practice recommendations for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Based on the results of phase 2 and phase 3 trials, these recommendations are proposed for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory disease who have received one previous line of therapy, and for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received two or more previous lines of therapy. These recommendations integrate the issue of drug access in both low-income and middle-income countries and in high-income countries to help guide real-world practice and thus improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30756-7DOI Listing
March 2021

Treatment of multiple myeloma-related bone disease: recommendations from the Bone Working Group of the International Myeloma Working Group.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03 2;22(3):e119-e130. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Center for Multiple Myeloma, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

In this Policy Review, the Bone Working Group of the International Myeloma Working Group updates its clinical practice recommendations for the management of multiple myeloma-related bone disease. After assessing the available literature and grading recommendations using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations (GRADE) method, experts from the working group recommend zoledronic acid as the preferred bone-targeted agent for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, with or without multiple myeloma-related bone disease. Once patients achieve a very good partial response or better, after receiving monthly zoledronic acid for at least 12 months, the treating physician can consider decreasing the frequency of or discontinuing zoledronic acid treatment. Denosumab can also be considered for the treatment of multiple myeloma-related bone disease, particularly in patients with renal impairment. Denosumab might prolong progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who have multiple myeloma-related bone disease and who are eligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Denosumab discontinuation is challenging due to the rebound effect. The Bone Working Group of the International Myeloma Working Group also found cement augmentation to be effective for painful vertebral compression fractures. Radiotherapy is recommended for uncontrolled pain, impeding or symptomatic spinal cord compression, or pathological fractures. Surgery should be used for the prevention and restoration of long-bone pathological fractures, vertebral column instability, and spinal cord compression with bone fragments within the spinal route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30559-3DOI Listing
March 2021

Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone followed by double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (GIMEMA-MMY-3006): long-term follow-up analysis of a randomised phase 3, open-label study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Dec;7(12):e861-e873

Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: The phase 3 GIMEMA-MMY-3006 trial, which compared bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTD) combination therapy with thalidomide and dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before and consolidation therapy after double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, showed the superiority of the triplet regimen over the doublet in terms of increased complete response rate and improved progression-free survival. We report the results from the final analysis of the study.

Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 study, patients aged 18-65 years with previously untreated symptomatic multiple myeloma and a Karnofsky Performance Status of 60% or higher were enrolled at 73 centres in Italy. Patients were randomised (1:1) by a web-based system to receive three 21-day cycles of thalidomide (100 mg daily orally for the first 14 days and 200 mg daily thereafter) plus dexamethasone (total 320 mg per cycle; 40 mg on days 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, and 11-12 in the VTD regimen, and 40 mg on days 1-4 and 9-12 in the TD regimen), either alone (TD group) or with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11; VTD group). After double autologous HSCT, patients received two 35-day cycles of either the VTD or TD regimen, according to random assignment, as consolidation therapy. The primary outcome was the rate of complete response and near complete response after induction (already reported). In this updated analysis we assessed long-term progression-free survival and overall survival (secondary endpoints of the study) with an extended 10-year median follow-up, and analysed the variables influencing survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01134484.

Findings: Between May 10, 2006, and April 30, 2008, 480 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive VTD (241 patients) or TD (239 patients). Six patients withdrew consent before start of treatment. 236 (99 [42%] women) in the VTD group and 238 (102 [43%] women) in the TD group were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The data cutoff date for this analysis was May 31, 2018. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 124·1 months (IQR 117·2-131·7). The 10-year progression-free survival estimate for patients in the VTD group was 34% (95% CI 28-41) compared with 17% (13-23) for the TD group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·62 [95% CI 0·50-0·77]; p<0·0001). 60% (95% CI 54-67) of patients in the VTD group were alive at 10 years versus 46% (40-54) of patients in the TD group (HR 0·68 [95% CI 0·51-0·90]; p=0·0068). VTD was an independent predictor of improved progression-free survival (HR 0·60 [95% CI 0·48-0·76]; p<0·0001) and overall survival (HR 0·68 [0·50-0·91]; p=0·010). The incidence of second primary malignancies per 100 person-years was 0·87 (95% CI 0·49-1·44) in the VTD group compared with 1·41 (0·88-2·13) in the TD group.

Interpretation: Incorporation of VTD into double autologous HSCT resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in long-term progression-free survival and overall survival, confirming that a regimen including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug is the gold standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who are fit for high-dose chemotherapy.

Funding: Seràgnoli Institute of Haematology, University of Bologna, and BolognAIL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30323-9DOI Listing
December 2020

Standardization of F-FDG-PET/CT According to Deauville Criteria for Metabolic Complete Response Definition in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jan 5;39(2):116-125. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Nuclear Medicine Department, Nantes University Hospital, CRCINA INSERM, CNRS, Université d'Angers, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France.

Purpose: F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is currently the standard technique to define minimal residual disease (MRD) status outside the bone marrow (BM) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). This study aimed to define criteria for PET complete metabolic response after therapy, jointly analyzing a subgroup of newly diagnosed transplantation-eligible patients with MM enrolled in two independent European randomized phase III trials (IFM/DFCI2009 and EMN02/HO95).

Patients And Methods: Two hundred twenty-eight patients were observed for a median of 62.9 months. By study design, PET/CT scans were performed at baseline and before starting maintenance (premaintenance [PM]). The five-point Deauville scale (DS) was applied to describe BM (BM score [BMS]) and focal lesion (FL; FL score [FS]) uptake and tested a posteriori in uni- and multivariable analyses for their impact on clinical outcomes.

Results: At baseline, 78% of patients had FLs (11% extramedullary), 80% with an FS ≥ 4. All patients had BM diffuse uptake (35.5% with BMS ≥ 4). At PM, 31% of patients had visually detectable FLs (2% extramedullary), 24% and 67.7% of them with an FS of 3 and ≥ 4, respectively. At PM, 98% of patients retained residual BM diffuse uptake, which was significantly lower than at baseline (mainly between BMS 2 and 3, BMS was ≥ 4 in only 8.7% of patients). By both uni- and multivariable analysis, FS and BMS < 4 were associated with prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) at PM (OS: hazard ratio [HR], 0.6 and 0.47, respectively; PFS: HR, 0.36 and 0.24, respectively).

Conclusion: FL and BM FDG uptake lower than the liver background after therapy was an independent predictor for improved PFS and OS and can be proposed as the standardized criterion of PET complete metabolic response, confirming the value of the DS for patients with MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00386DOI Listing
January 2021

Role of Imaging in the Evaluation of Minimal Residual Disease in Multiple Myeloma Patients.

J Clin Med 2020 Oct 31;9(11). Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale, Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Università degli Studi, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

The International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) recently introduced the evaluation of minimal residual disease (MRD) within the multiple myeloma (MM) response criteria, and MRD negativity assessed inside and outside the bone marrow is currently considered the most powerful predictor of favorable long-term outcomes. However, MRD evaluation has thus far relied on flow-cytometry or molecular-based methods, despite the limitations associated with the patchy infiltration of bone marrow (BM) plasma cells and the presence of extra-medullary (EMD). On the contrary, imaging-based sensitive response assessment through the use of functional rather than morphological whole-body (WB) imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET/CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), likely is a promising strategy to overcome these limitations in evaluating response to therapy and in the assessment of the MRD status in MM patients. However, despite the significant advances in the development and availability of novel functional imaging techniques for MRD evaluation, a worldwide standardization of imaging criteria for acquisition, interpretation, and reporting is yet to be determined and will be object of future investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692446PMC
October 2020

Daratumumab-Based Therapy for IgM Multiple Myeloma With Hyperviscosity Syndrome: A Case Report.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Jan 17;21(1):e21-e24. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.08.019DOI Listing
January 2021

A real-world efficacy and safety analysis of combined carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Feb 1;39(1):41-50. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Italia - Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale - Università degli Studi, Bologna, Italy.

Carfilzomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone (KRd) has been approved for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). We conducted a retrospective analysis of 197 RRMM patients (pts) between January 2016 and March 2018 in six Italian hematologic centers, with the aim to evaluate efficacy and safety of KRd in real-life. At KRd initiation 27% carried high risk cytogenetic abnormalities (HRCA) [del17p and/or t(4;14) and/or t(14;16)], median number of prior lines of therapy was 2 (1-8), nearly all pts (96%) received prior bortezomib (18% refractory) while 45% were exposed to lenalidomide (R; 22% refractory). At the median of 12.5 months, 52% of the pts had discontinued treatment, mainly (66%) for progression. Main grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (21%), infections (11%), and hypertension (6%). Overall, the response rate was 88%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 19.8 months and 1-year overall survival (OS) rate was 80.6%. By subgroup analysis, extended PFS and OS were observed for pts who received ≤2 prior lines of therapy (HR = 0.42, p < 0.001 and HR = 0.35, p = 0.001, respectively), not refractory to prior R (HR = 0.37, p < 0.001, and HR = 0.47, p = 0.024), without HRCA (HR = 0.33, p = 0.005 and HR = 0.26, p = 0.016) and achieving ≥ very good partial response (VGPR; HR = 0.17, p < 0.001 and HR = 0.18, p < 0.001). In conclusion, KRd demonstrated to be effective in RRMM pts treated in real-world setting, without new safety concerns. Better survival outcomes emerged for pts with ≤2 prior lines of therapy, achieving at least a VGPR, and without HRCA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2820DOI Listing
February 2021

International Myeloma Working Group risk stratification model for smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM).

Blood Cancer J 2020 10 16;10(10):102. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, CIMA, CIBERONC, IDISNA, Pamplona, Spain.

Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is an asymptomatic precursor state of multiple myeloma (MM). Recently, MM was redefined to include biomarkers predicting a high risk of progression from SMM, thus necessitating a redefinition of SMM and its risk stratification. We assembled a large cohort of SMM patients meeting the revised IMWG criteria to develop a new risk stratification system. We included 1996 patients, and using stepwise selection and multivariable analysis, we identified three independent factors predicting progression risk at 2 years: serum M-protein >2 g/dL (HR: 2.1), involved to uninvolved free light-chain ratio >20 (HR: 2.7), and marrow plasma cell infiltration >20% (HR: 2.4). This translates into 3 categories with increasing 2-year progression risk: 6% for low risk (38%; no risk factors, HR: 1); 18% for intermediate risk (33%; 1 factor; HR: 3.0), and 44% for high risk (29%; 2-3 factors). Addition of cytogenetic abnormalities (t(4;14), t(14;16), +1q, and/or del13q) allowed separation into 4 groups (low risk with 0, low intermediate risk with 1, intermediate risk with 2, and high risk with ≥3 risk factors) with 6, 23, 46, and 63% risk of progression in 2 years, respectively. The 2/20/20 risk stratification model can be easily implemented to identify high-risk SMM for clinical research and routine practice and will be widely applicable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00366-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7567803PMC
October 2020

Random survival forest to predict transplant-eligible newly diagnosed multiple myeloma outcome including FDG-PET radiomics: a combined analysis of two independent prospective European trials.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2021 Apr 2;48(4):1005-1015. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Nuclear Medicine Department, University Hospital, 1 place Ricordeau, 44093, Nantes, France.

Purpose: Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) is included in the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) imaging guidelines for the work-up at diagnosis and the follow-up of multiple myeloma (MM) notably because it is a reliable tool as a predictor of prognosis. Nevertheless, none of the published studies focusing on the prognostic value of PET-derived features at baseline consider tumor heterogeneity, which could be of high importance in MM. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of baseline PET-derived features in transplant-eligible newly diagnosed (TEND) MM patients enrolled in two prospective independent European randomized phase III trials using an innovative statistical random survival forest (RSF) approach.

Methods: Imaging ancillary studies of IFM/DFCI2009 and EMN02/HO95 trials formed part of the present analysis (IMAJEM and EMN02/HO95, respectively). Among all patients initially enrolled in these studies, those with a positive baseline FDG-PET/CT imaging and focal bone lesions (FLs) and/or extramedullary disease (EMD) were included in the present analysis. A total of 17 image features (visual and quantitative, reflecting whole imaging characteristics) and 5 clinical/histopathological parameters were collected. The statistical analysis was conducted using two RSF approaches (train/validation + test and additional nested cross-validation) to predict progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: One hundred thirty-nine patients were considered for this study. The final model based on the first RSF (train/validation + test) approach selected 3 features (treatment arm, hemoglobin, and SUVBone Marrow (BM)) among the 22 involved initially, and two risk groups of patients (good and poor prognosis) could be defined with a mean hazard ratio of 4.3 ± 1.5 and a mean log-rank p value of 0.01 ± 0.01. The additional RSF (nested cross-validation) analysis highlighted the robustness of the proposed model across different splits of the dataset. Indeed, the first features selected using the train/validation + test approach remained the first ones over the folds with the nested approach.

Conclusion: We proposed a new prognosis model for TEND MM patients at diagnosis based on two RSF approaches.

Trial Registration: IMAJEM: NCT01309334 and EMN02/HO95: NCT01134484.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-020-05049-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Glucose Metabolism Quantified by SUVmax on Baseline FDG-PET/CT Predicts Survival in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients: Combined Harmonized Analysis of Two Prospective Phase III Trials.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Sep 6;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 6.

Nuclear Medicine Department, Nantes University Hospital, CRCINA INSERM, CNRS, Angers University, Nantes University, 44093 Nantes, France.

Multiple myeloma is a hematological neoplasm characterized by a clonal proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality and variable survival. Positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography using 18F-deoxyfluoroglucose (FDG-PET/CT) is a promising technique for initial staging of symptomatic multiple myeloma patients. The objective of this study was to assess the prognostic value of this technique at baseline in symptomatic multiple myeloma patients included in two large European prospective studies (French and Italian). We retrospectively performed a combined harmonized analysis of 227 newly diagnosed transplant eligible multiple myeloma patients from two separate phase III trials. All images were centrally reviewed and analyzed using visual criteria and maximal standardized uptake value. An ad-hoc approach (called modified Combat) was applied to harmonize the data and then remove the "country effect" in order to strengthen the reliability of the final conclusions. Using a multivariate analysis including treatment arm, R-ISS score, presence of extra-medullary disease and bone SUVmax, only bone SUVmax ( = 0.016) was an independent prognosis factor with an OS threshold of 7.1. For PFS, treatment arm and presence of extra-medullary disease were both independent prognosis biomarkers ( = 0.022 and 0.006 respectively). : Our results show that bone SUVmax is a simple and reliable biomarker to analyze FDG-PET/CT at baseline that strongly correlates with a poorer prognosis for MM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564454PMC
September 2020

Functional Imaging for Therapeutic Assessment and Minimal Residual Disease Detection in Multiple Myeloma.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jul 29;21(15). Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Nuclear Medicine/Hematology Department, Nantes University Hospital, F-44000 Nantes, France.

Serum markers and bone marrow examination are commonly used for monitoring therapy response in multiple myeloma (MM), but this fails to identify minimal residual disease (MRD), which frequently persists after therapy even in complete response patients, and extra-medullary disease escape. Positron emission tomography with computed tomography using 18F-deoxyglucose (FDG-PET/CT) is the reference imaging technique for therapeutic assessment and MRD detection in MM. To date, all large prospective cohort studies of transplant-eligible newly diagnosed MM patients have shown a strong and independent pejorative prognostic impact of not obtaining complete metabolic response by FDG-PET/CT after therapy, especially before maintenance. The FDG-PET/CT and MRD (evaluated by flow cytometry or next-generation sequencing at 10 and 10 levels, respectively) results are complementary for MRD detection outside and inside the bone marrow. For patients with at least a complete response, to reach double negativity (FDG-PET/CT and MRD) is a predictive surrogate for patient outcome. Homogenization of FDG-PET/CT interpretation after therapy, especially clarification of complete metabolic response definition, is currently underway. FDG-PET/CT does not allow MRD to be evaluated when it is negative at initial workup of symptomatic MM. New PET tracers such as CXCR4 ligands have shown high diagnostic value and could replace FDG in this setting. New sensitive functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques such as diffusion-weighted MRI appear to be complementary to FDG-PET/CT for imaging MRD detection. The goal of this review is to examine the feasibility of functional imaging, especially FDG-PET/CT, for therapeutic assessment and MRD detection in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432032PMC
July 2020

Bortezomib, Melphalan, and Dexamethasone for Light-Chain Amyloidosis.

J Clin Oncol 2020 10 30;38(28):3252-3260. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center "Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Policlinico San Matteo," Pavia, Italy.

Purpose: Oral melphalan and dexamethasone (MDex) were considered a standard of care in light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. In the past decade, bortezomib has been increasingly used in combination with alkylating agents and dexamethasone. We prospectively compared the efficacy and safety of MDex and MDex with the addition of bortezomib (BMDex).

Methods: This was a phase III, multicenter, randomized, open-label trial. Patients were stratified according to cardiac stage. Patients with advanced cardiac stage (stage IIIb) amyloidosis were not eligible. The primary end point was hematologic response rate at 3 months. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01277016.

Results: A total of 109 patients, 53 in the BMDex and 56 in the MDex group, received ≥ 1 dose of therapy (from January 2011 to February 2016). Hematologic response rate at 3 months was higher in the BMDex arm (79% 52%; = .002). Higher rates of very good partial or complete response rates (64% 39%; hazard ratio [HR], 2.47; 95% CI, 1.30 to 4.71) and improved overall survival, with a 2-fold decrease in mortality rate (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.27 to 0.90), were observed in the BMDex arm. Grade 3 and 4 adverse events (the most common being cytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, and heart failure) were more common in the BMDex arm, occurring in 20% versus 10% of cycles performed.

Conclusion: BMDex improved hematologic response rate and overall survival. To our knowledge, this is the first time a controlled study has demonstrated a survival advantage in AL amyloidosis. BMDex should be considered a new standard of care for AL amyloidosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01285DOI Listing
October 2020

Autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation versus bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone, with or without bortezomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone consolidation therapy, and lenalidomide maintenance for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (EMN02/HO95): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 3 study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Jun 30;7(6):e456-e468. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Hematology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Background: The emergence of highly active novel agents has led some to question the role of autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) and subsequent consolidation therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. We therefore compared autologous HSCT with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) as intensification therapy, and bortezomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone (VRD) consolidation therapy with no consolidation.

Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 study we recruited previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma at 172 academic and community practice centres of the European Myeloma Network. Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years, had symptomatic multiple myeloma stage 1-3 according to the International Staging System (ISS), measurable disease (serum M protein >10 g/L or urine M protein >200 mg in 24 h or abnormal free light chain [FLC] ratio with involved FLC >100 mg/L, or proven plasmacytoma by biopsy), and WHO performance status grade 0-2 (grade 3 was allowed if secondary to myeloma). Patients were first randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either four 42-day cycles of bortezomib (1·3 mg/m administered intravenously or subcutaneously on days 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29, and 32) combined with melphalan (9 mg/m administered orally on days 1-4) and prednisone (60 mg/m administered orally on days 1-4) or autologous HSCT after high-dose melphalan (200 mg/m), stratified by site and ISS disease stage. In centres with a double HSCT policy, the first randomisation (1:1:1) was to VMP or single or double HSCT. Afterwards, a second randomisation assigned patients to receive two 28-day cycles of consolidation therapy with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m either intravenously or subcutaneously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11), lenalidomide (25 mg orally on days 1-21), and dexamethasone (20 mg orally on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12) or no consolidation; both groups received lenalidomide maintenance therapy (10 mg orally on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle). The primary outcomes were progression-free survival from the first and second randomisations, analysed in the intention-to-treat population, which included all patients who underwent each randomisation. All patients who received at least one dose of study drugs were included in the safety analyses. This study is registered with the EU Clinical Trials Register (EudraCT 2009-017903-28) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01208766), and has completed recruitment.

Findings: Between Feb 25, 2011, and April 3, 2014, 1503 patients were enrolled. 1197 patients were eligible for the first randomisation, of whom 702 were assigned to autologous HSCT and 495 to VMP; 877 patients who were eligible for the first randomisation underwent the second randomisation to VRD consolidation (n=449) or no consolidation (n=428). The data cutoff date for the current analysis was Nov 26, 2018. At a median follow-up of 60·3 months (IQR 52·2-67·6), median progression-free survival was significantly improved with autologous HSCT compared with VMP (56·7 months [95% CI 49·3-64·5] vs 41·9 months [37·5-46·9]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·73, 0·62-0·85; p=0·0001). For the second randomisation, the number of events of progression or death at data cutoff was lower than that preplanned for the final analysis; therefore, the results from the second protocol-specified interim analysis, when 66% of events were reached, are reported (data cutoff Jan 18, 2018). At a median follow-up of 42·1 months (IQR 32·3-49·2), consolidation therapy with VRD significantly improved median progression-free survival compared with no consolidation (58·9 months [54·0-not estimable] vs 45·5 months [39·5-58·4]; HR 0·77, 0·63-0·95; p=0·014). The most common grade ≥3 adverse events in the autologous HSCT group compared to the VMP group included neutropenia (513 [79%] of 652 patients vs 137 [29%] of 472 patients), thrombocytopenia (541 [83%] vs 74 [16%]), gastrointestinal disorders (80 [12%] vs 25 [5%]), and infections (192 [30%] vs 18 [4%]). 239 (34%) of 702 patients in the autologous HSCT group and 135 (27%) of 495 in the VMP group had at least one serious adverse event. Infection was the most common serious adverse event in each of the treatment groups (206 [56%] of 368 and 70 [37%] of 189). 38 (12%) of 311 deaths from first randomisation were likely to be treatment related: 26 (68%) in the autologous HSCT group and 12 (32%) in the VMP group, most frequently due to infections (eight [21%]), cardiac events (six [16%]), and second primary malignancies (20 [53%]).

Interpretation: This study supports the use of autologous HSCT as intensification therapy and the use of consolidation therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, even in the era of novel agents. The role of high-dose chemotherapy needs to be reassessed in future studies, in particular in patients with undetectable minimal residual disease after four-drug induction regimens including a monoclonal antiboby combined with an immunomodulatory agent and a proteasome inhibitor plus dexamethasone.

Funding: Janssen and Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30099-5DOI Listing
June 2020

Maintenance therapy with bortezomib and dexamethasone after autotransplantation for high-risk multiple myeloma.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 09 26;55(9):1865-1867. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Seràgnoli Institute of Hematology, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Bologna University School of Medicine, S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0844-2DOI Listing
September 2020

A simplified frailty scale predicts outcomes in transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated in the FIRST (MM-020) trial.

Leukemia 2020 01 19;34(1):224-233. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France.

Patients with multiple myeloma are generally older and vary in fitness levels, which may influence the clinical benefit of treatment. Patients from the large, phase 3 FIRST trial in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) were retrospectively investigated to determine outcomes based on frailty using scores for age, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS), instead of the EQ-5D quality-of-life questionnaire, as previously reported. ECOG PS (n = 1618) was investigated in frailty groups: frail (49%) and nonfrail (51%). Frail patients experienced worse progression-free and overall survival vs nonfrail patients. Prognostic assessment was improved when combining frailty and International Staging System stage (I/II vs III). Frail patients had a higher risk of developing grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events. Treatment effects observed in the FIRST trial were confirmed per frailty group and per frailty and ISS group. The use of this ECOG PS-containing frailty scale as a predictive measure of clinical outcomes in patients with transplant-ineligible NDMM is supported by data from the FIRST trial. This score, based on age, CCI, and ECOG PS, can be easily replicated and may help design future myeloma studies in frail or nonfrail elderly patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0539-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214253PMC
January 2020

International myeloma working group consensus recommendations on imaging in monoclonal plasma cell disorders.

Lancet Oncol 2019 06;20(6):e302-e312

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Recent advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma have increased the need for accurate diagnosis of the disease. The detection of bone and bone marrow lesions is crucial in the investigation of multiple myeloma and often dictates the decision to start treatment. Furthermore, detection of minimal residual disease is important for prognosis determination and treatment planning, and it has underscored an unmet need for sensitive imaging methods that accurately assess patient response to multiple myeloma treatment. Low-dose whole-body CT has increased sensitivity compared with conventional skeletal survey in the detection of bone disease, which can reveal information leading to changes in therapy and disease management that could prevent or delay the onset of clinically significant morbidity and mortality as a result of skeletal-related events. Given the multiple options available for the detection of bone and bone marrow lesions, ranging from conventional skeletal survey to whole-body CT, PET/CT, and MRI, the International Myeloma Working Group decided to establish guidelines on optimal use of imaging methods at different disease stages. These recommendations on imaging within and outside of clinical trials will help standardise imaging for monoclonal plasma cell disorders worldwide to allow the comparison of results and the unification of treatment approaches for multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30309-2DOI Listing
June 2019

Fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/Computed Tomography as a Predictor of Prognosis in Multiple Myeloma.

PET Clin 2019 Jul 19;14(3):383-389. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

"Seràgnoli" Institute of Hematology, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

Fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/CT is a valuable tool for the work-up of patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, because it assesses bone damage with high sensitivity and specificity and detects extramedullary sites of proliferating clonal plasma cells (extramedullary diseases). PET/CT provides valuable prognostic data at diagnosis and at restaging during the course of the disease. Consistencies between independent studies confirm the negative prognostic value of extramedullary disease and greater than 3 focal lesions, whereas the role of standardized uptake value is more conflicting. Standardization of the technique is ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpet.2019.03.005DOI Listing
July 2019

Interest of Pet Imaging in Multiple Myeloma.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2019 9;6:69. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Nuclear Medicine Unit, University Hospital, Nantes, France.

The interest of 18Fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in the management of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) for the workup at diagnosis and for therapeutic evaluation has recently been demonstrated. FDG-PET is a powerful imaging tool for bone lesions detection at initial diagnosis with high sensitivity and specificity values. The independent pejorative prognostic value on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of baseline PET-derived parameters (presence of extra-medullary disease (EMD), number of focal bone lesions (FLs), and maximum standardized uptake values [SUV]) has been reported in several large independent prospective studies. During therapeutic evaluation, FDG-PET is considered as the reference imaging technique, because it can be performed much earlier than MRI which lacks specificity. Persistence of significant FDG uptake after treatment, notably before maintenance therapy, is an independent pejorative prognostic factor, especially for patients with a complete biological response. So FDG-PET and medullary flow cytometry are complementary tools for detection of minimal residual disease before maintenance therapy. However, the definition of PET metabolic complete response should be standardized. In patients with smoldering multiple myeloma, the presence of at least one hyper-metabolic lytic lesions on FDG-PET may be considered as a criterion for initiating therapy. FDG-PET is also indicated for initial staging of a solitary plasmacytoma so as to not disregard other bone or extra-medullary localizations. Development of nuclear medicine offer new perspectives for MM imaging. Recent PET tracers are willing to overcome limitations of FDG. (11)C-Methionine, which uptake reflects the increased protein synthesis of malignant cells seems to correlate well with bone marrow infiltration. Lipid tracers, such as Choline or acetate, and some peptide tracers, such as (68) Ga-Pentixafor, that targets CXCR4 (chemokine receptor-4, which is often expressed with high density by myeloma cells), are other promising PET ligands. 18F-fludarabine and immuno-PET targeting CD138 and CD38 also showed promising results in preclinical models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2019.00069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465522PMC
April 2019

Treatment of patients with multiple myeloma progressing on frontline-therapy with lenalidomide.

Blood Cancer J 2019 03 20;9(4):38. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

University Hospital, Salamanca, Spain.

Over the last years, there has been great progress in the treatment of multiple myeloma with many new agents and combinations having been approved and being now routinely incorporated into treatment strategies. As a result, patients are experiencing benefits in terms of survival and better tolerance. However, the multitude of treatment options also presents a challenge to select the best options tailored to the specific patient situation. Lenalidomide is increasingly being used as part of frontline therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. This agent is typically administered until disease progression. It is currently unclear, how to best manage patients, who relapse while receiving lenalidomide as part of their frontline treatment. We conducted a review to summarize the available evidence in this setting. Our summary shows that there are very few data from current trials testing new combinations based on carfilzomib, pomalidomide, or daratumumab that address this specific patient population. Our review is aimed to summarize the available evidence to assist treatment decision making and to raise awareness of this lack of data to encourage further analyses and the incorporation of sequencing questions in future trial designs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-019-0200-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6426995PMC
March 2019

Early use of PEPA dialyzer for light chains removal and for the recovery from myeloma cast nephropathy: A case report.

Hemodial Int 2019 07 21;23(3):E97-E99. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Nephrology Dialysis and Renal Transplantation Unit, L. & A. Seràgnoli, S.Orsola University Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

Chemotherapy and extracorporeal treatment reduce serum free light chains (FLCs) allowing the recovery of acute kidney injury (AKI) caused by myeloma cast nephropathy (MCN). We report the first case of recovery from AKI in a patient with MCN who underwent the removal of FLCs using the PEPA filter, with an undisclosed cut-off, combined with chemotherapy for multiple myeloma (MM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hdi.12733DOI Listing
July 2019

Imaging in multiple myeloma: How? When?

Blood 2019 02 26;133(7):644-651. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

"Seràgnoli" Institute of Hematology, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna, Italy.

Bone disease is the most frequent feature of multiple myeloma (MM) and represents a marker of end-organ damage; it is used to establish the diagnosis and to dictate the immediate need for therapy. For this reason, imaging plays a significant role in the management of MM patients. Although conventional radiography has traditionally been the standard imaging modality, its low sensitivity in detecting osteolytic lesions and inability to evaluate response to therapy has called for the use of more sophisticated techniques, such as whole-body low-dose computed tomography (WBLDCT), whole-body magnetic resonance imaging, and F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). In this review, the advantages, indications of use, and applications of the 3 techniques in the management of patients with MM in different settings will be discussed. The European Myeloma Network and the European Society for Medical Oncology guidelines have recommended WBLDCT as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of MM-related lytic bone lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging is the gold-standard imaging modality for detection of bone marrow involvement, whereas PET/CT provides valuable prognostic data and is the preferred technique for assessment of response to therapy. Standardization of most of the techniques is ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-08-825356DOI Listing
February 2019

Recommendations for acquisition, interpretation and reporting of whole body low dose CT in patients with multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders: a report of the IMWG Bone Working Group.

Blood Cancer J 2018 10 4;8(10):95. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.

Whole Body Low Dose CT (WBLDCT) has important advantages as a first-line imaging modality for bone disease assessment in patients with plasma cell disorders and has been included in the 2014 International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria for multiple myeloma (MM) definition. Nevertheless, standardization guidelines for the optimal use of WBLDCT in MM patients are still lacking, preventing its more widespread use, both in daily practice and clinical trials. The aim of this report by the Bone Group of the IMWG is to provide practical recommendations for the acquisition, interpretation and reporting of WBLDCT in patients with multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-018-0124-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172202PMC
October 2018

Bones in Multiple Myeloma: Imaging and Therapy.

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2018 May;38:638-646

From the "Seràgnoli" Institute of Hematology, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna, Italy; Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, IN.

Bone disease is the most frequent disease-defining clinical feature of multiple myeloma (MM), with 90% of patients developing bone lesions over the course of their disease. For this reason, imaging plays a major role in the management of disease in patients with MM. Although conventional radiography has traditionally been the standard of care, its low sensitivity in detecting osteolytic lesions has called for more advanced imaging modalities. In this review, we discuss the advantages, indications, and applications of whole-body low-dose CT (WBLDCT), F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/CT, MRI, and other novel imaging modalities in the management of disease in patients with plasma cell dyscrasias. We also review the state of the art in treatment of MM bone disease (MMBD) and the role of bisphosphonates and denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds and blocks the activity of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for MMBD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/EDBK_205583DOI Listing
May 2018

Treatment optimization for multiple myeloma: schedule-dependent synergistic cytotoxicity of pomalidomide and carfilzomib in and models.

Haematologica 2018 12 19;103(12):e602-e606. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

"L. & A. Seràgnoli" Institute of Haematology, Department of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), Bologna University School of Medicine, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.186924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6269297PMC
December 2018

A prospective observational study to assess clinical decision-making, prognosis, quality of life and satisfaction with care in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: the CLARITY study protocol.

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2018 Jun 18;16(1):127. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Institute of Hematology Seragnoli, DIMES, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Treatment decision-making in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) is challenging for a number of reasons including, the heterogeneity of disease at relapse and the number of possible therapeutic approaches. This study broadly aims to generate new evidence-based data to facilitate clinical decision-making in RRMM patients. The primary objective is to investigate the prognostic value of patient self-reported fatigue severity for overall survival.

Methods: This multicenter prospective observational study will consecutively enroll 312 patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least 1 prior line of therapy and are considered as RRMM according to the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria. Eligible RRMM participants will be adults (≥ 18 years old) patients and will be enrolled irrespective of comorbidities and performance status. At the time of study inclusion, data to calculate the frailty score are to be available. Patients will be followed up for 30 months and patient-reported outcome (PRO) assessment is planned at baseline and thereafter at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. The following PRO validated questionnaires will be used: the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), the EORTC QLQ-MY20 and the EORTC QLQ-INFO25. Satisfaction with care and preference for involvement in treatment decisions will also be evaluated. Clinical, laboratory and treatment related information will be prospectively collected in conjunction with pre scheduled PRO assessments. Cox regression analyses will be used to assess the prognostic value of baseline fatigue severity (EORTC QLQ-C30) and other patient-reported health-related quality of life parameters.

Discussion: Clinical decision-making in RRMM is a challenge and outcome prediction is also an important aspect to enhance personalized treatment planning. Given the paucity of PRO data in this population, this prospective observational study aims to provide novel information that may facilitate patients' management in routine practice.

Trial Registration: This trial is registered as identifier NCT03190525 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-018-0953-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6006751PMC
June 2018

Anti-CD38 and anti-SLAMF7: the future of myeloma immunotherapy.

Expert Rev Hematol 2018 05 27;11(5):423-435. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

a "Seràgnoli" Institute of Hematology , Bologna University School of Medicine , Bologna , Italy.

Introduction: the high expression of a number of surface antigens on malignant plasma cells, the bone marrow micro-environment and immune effector T cells, makes these appealing targets for immune therapy with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Areas covered: Two mAbs, anti-CD38 daratumumab (Dara) and anti-SLAMF7 elotuzumab (Elo), have achieved recent regulatory approval for relapsed or refractory MM (RRMM) and are currently being explored as possible treatment options in novel combinations and different settings. This review discusses the current landscape and possible development of anti-CD38 and anti-SLAMF7 mAbs. Expert commentary: Three phase III trials demonstrated a significant advantage in terms of response and PFS when Dara or Elo are combined with lenalidomide-dexamethsone (Rd) or bortezomib-dexamethsone (Vd), in comparison to doublet regimens, for patients with RRMM. Treatment algorithms including Dara- or Elo-based triplets may be defined on the basis of disease and patients' characteristics, as well as of their prior exposure to different classes of novel agents. Evaluation of these agents in new combination regimens, including second and third generation PIs and IMiDs, are under investigation. Moreover, use of mAbs in phases of the disease where the immune system is less compromised, such as newly diagnosed MM or even high-risk smoldering myeloma, appears logical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17474086.2018.1456331DOI Listing
May 2018