Publications by authors named "Sara Bringhen"

106 Publications

Dose/Schedule-Adjusted Rd-R vs Continuous Rd for elderly, intermediate-fit, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients.

Blood 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

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

Lenalidomide-dexamethasone (Rd) is a standard treatment for elderly multiple myeloma (MM) patients. In this randomized, phase III study, we investigated the efficacy and feasibility of a dose/schedule-adjusted Rd followed by maintenance 10 mg/day without dexamethasone (Rd-R) vs continuous Rd in elderly, intermediate-fit newly diagnosed MM patients. The primary endpoint was event-free survival (EFS), defined as progression/death for any cause, lenalidomide discontinuation, any hematologic grade 4 or non-hematologic grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs). Of the 199 evaluable patients, 101 received Rd-R and 98 continuous Rd. Median follow-up was 37 months. Best response rates were comparable: ≥ partial response rates were 78% vs 68% (p=0.15) in Rd-R vs continuous Rd groups. EFS was 10.4 with Rd-R vs 6.9 months with continuous Rd (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.51-0.95, p=0.02). Median progression-free survival was 20.2 vs 18.3 months (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.55-1.10, p=0.16), 3-year overall survival was 74% vs 63% (HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.37-1.03, p=0.06). At least 1 non-hematologic grade ≥3 AE rate was 33% vs 43% (p=0.14); the most frequent grade ≥3 AEs were neutropenia (21% vs 18%), infections (10% vs 12%) skin disorders (7% vs 3%) in Rd-R vs Rd; constitutional and central nervous system AEs mainly related to dexamethasone were more frequent with continuous Rd. Lenalidomide was discontinued for AEs in 24% vs 30% and was reduced in 45% vs 62% of patients, in Rd-R vs Rd, respectively. In intermediate-fit patients, switching to reduced-dose lenalidomide maintenance without dexamethasone after 9 cycles of Rd was feasible, with similar outcome to standard continuous Rd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009507DOI Listing
March 2021

Melflufen plus dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: long-term survival follow-up from the Phase II study O-12-M1.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jan 6. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

An updated survival analysis was conducted for the Phase II study O-12-M1 of melphalan flufenamide (melflufen) plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) with two or more prior lines of therapy (including bortezomib and lenalidomide). Partial response or better was seen in 31%. After a 46-month median overall survival (OS) follow-up, melflufen plus dexamethasone had a median OS of 20·7 months (75th percentile OS, 47·5 months). The median time-to-next treatment for melflufen plus dexamethasone was 7·9 months. In summary, melflufen plus dexamethasone resulted in sustained long-term clinical benefit in patients with RRMM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17302DOI Listing
January 2021

A longitudinal analysis of chromosomal abnormalities in disease progression from MGUS/SMM to newly diagnosed and relapsed multiple myeloma.

Ann Hematol 2021 Feb 3;100(2):437-443. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, via Genova 3, 10126, Torino, Italy.

We analyzed variations in terms of chromosomal abnormalities (CA) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis on purified bone marrow plasma cells throughout the progression from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance/smoldering multiple myeloma (MGUS/SMM) to newly diagnosed MM/plasma cell leukemia (NDMM/PCL) at diagnosis and from diagnostic samples to progressive disease. High risk was defined by the presence of at least del(17p), t(4;14), and/or t(14;16). 1p/1q detection (in the standard FISH panel from 2012 onward) was not available for all patients. We analyzed 139 MM/PCL diagnostic samples from 144 patients, with a median follow-up of 71 months: high-risk CA at diagnosis (MGUS/SMM or NDMM) was present in 28% of samples, whereas 37-39% showed high-risk CA at relapse. In 115 patients with NDMM who evolved to relapsed/refractory MM, we identified 3 different populations: (1) 31/115 patients (27%) with gain of new CA (del13, del17p, t(4;14), t(14;16) or 1q CA when available); (2) 10/115 (9%) patients with loss of a previously identified CA; and (3) 74 patients with no changes. The CA gain group showed a median overall survival of 66 months vs. 84 months in the third group (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.34-0.92, p = 0.023). Clonal evolution occurs as disease progresses after different chemotherapy lines. Patients who acquired high-risk CA had the poorest prognosis. Our findings highlight the importance of performing FISH analysis both at diagnosis and at relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04384-wDOI Listing
February 2021

The Role of Monoclonal Antibodies in the First-Line Treatment of Transplant-Ineligible Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2020 Dec 29;14(1). Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy.

Elderly transplant-ineligible (NTE) patients represent the majority of patients affected by multiple myeloma (MM). Elderly patients are a highly heterogeneous population, with large variability in health and functional status. Thus, choosing their optimal treatment is challenging. A wide range of first-line treatments is available, and novel-agent combinations, including monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), have recently entered clinical practice. The combination of the anti-CD38 mAb daratumumab with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone (Dara-VMP) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Dara-Rd) demonstrated impressive advantages in terms of progression-free survival and minimal residual disease negativity, as compared to VMP and Rd, without safety concerns. Another anti-CD38 mAb, isatuximab, is showing encouraging results, and new isatuximab-based combinations might enter clinical practice in the future. Nevertheless, available data come from clinical trials with selected patient populations and, to date, the manageability of these regimens in real-life patients or in frail patients remains unknown. Frailty-tailored treatments, including mAbs, are under evaluation in preliminary studies. In this review, we analyze recently approved mAb-based treatments for NTE newly diagnosed MM patients and new combinations under evaluation, focusing on the efficacy and safety of these regimens and on open issues regarding the choice of therapy for elderly patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph14010020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823261PMC
December 2020

Efficacy and safety of carfilzomib-based regimens in frail patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma.

Blood Adv 2020 11;4(21):5449-5459

National and Kapodistrian University Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.

Frailty is most prevalent among elderly multiple myeloma (MM) patients, and frail patients have a higher risk of poor outcomes due to reduced performance status or comorbidities. This post hoc analysis assessed efficacy and safety of carfilzomib combinations in frail patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM from the phase 3 ASPIRE (carfilzomib [27 mg/m2]-lenalidomide-dexamethasone [KRd27] vs lenalidomide-dexamethasone [Rd]), ENDEAVOR (carfilzomib [56 mg/m2]-dexamethasone [Kd56] vs bortezomib-dexamethasone [Vd]), and ARROW (once-weekly carfilzomib [70 mg/m2]-dexamethasone [Kd70] vs carfilzomib [27 mg/m2]-dexamethasone [Kd27]) studies. A frailty algorithm incorporating age, Charlson comorbidity index, and performance status classified patients as fit, intermediate, or frail. Results are presented for frail patients (ASPIRE, n = 196; ENDEAVOR, n = 330; ARROW, n = 141). In ASPIRE, median progression-free survival (PFS) (hazard ratio; 95% confidence interval) was 24.1 (KRd27) vs 15.9 months (Rd) (0.78; 0.54-1.12); median overall survival (OS) was 36.4 vs 26.2 months (0.79; 0.57-1.08). In ENDEAVOR, median PFS was 18.7 (Kd56) vs 6.6 months (Vd) (0.50; 0.36-0.68); median OS was 33.6 vs 21.8 months (0.75; 0.56-1.00). In ARROW, median PFS was 10.3 (once-weekly Kd70) vs 6.6 months (twice-weekly Kd27) (0.76; 0.49-1.16). In all 3 studies, rates of grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events were consistent with those observed in the primary studies. The ASPIRE, ENDEAVOR, and ARROW primary analyses demonstrated favorable benefit-risk profiles with carfilzomib-containing regimens compared with controls. Across clinically relevant subgroups, including those by frailty status, consistent efficacy and safety were observed with KRd27, Kd56, and weekly Kd70, and treatment with these regimens should not be restricted by frailty status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656926PMC
November 2020

Monoclonal Antibodies to Treat Multiple Myeloma: A Dream Come True.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Nov 1;21(21). Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy.

Immunotherapy is increasingly used in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are safe and effective ways to elicit immunotherapeutic responses. In 2015, daratumumab has become the first mAb approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use in MM and, in the last 5 years, a lot of clinical and preclinical research has been done to optimize the use of this drug class. Currently, mAbs have already become part of standard-of-care combinations for the treatment of relapsed/refractory MM and very soon they will also be used in the frontline setting. The success of simple mAbs ('naked mAbs') prompted the development of new types of molecules. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are tumor-targeting mAbs that release a cytotoxic payload into the tumor cells upon antigen binding in order to destroy them. Bispecific antibodies (BiAbs) are mAbs simultaneously targeting a tumor-associated antigen and an immune cell-associated antigen in order to redirect the immune cell cytotoxicity against the tumor cell. These different constructs produced solid preclinical data and promising clinical data in phase I/II trials. The aim of this review article is to summarize all the recent developments in the field, including data on naked mAbs, ADCs and BiAbs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218192DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662679PMC
November 2020

Isatuximab as monotherapy and combined with dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Blood 2021 Mar;137(9):1154-1165

Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

This phase 2 study evaluated isatuximab as monotherapy or combined with dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Patients had RRMM refractory to an immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) and a proteasome inhibitor (PI) or had received ≥3 prior lines of therapy incorporating an IMiD and PI. Patients received isatuximab either as monotherapy (20 mg/kg on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 [once weekly] of cycle 1 followed by 20 mg/kg on days 1 and 15 of subsequent cycles; Isa group) or in combination with dexamethasone (40 mg/d [20 mg/d in patients aged ≥75 years] once weekly; Isa-dex group). Treated patients (N = 164) had received a median of 4 (range, 2-10) prior treatment lines. Patients received a median of 5 (1-24) and 7 (1-22) treatment cycles; at data cutoff, 13 (11.9%) of 109 and 15 (27.3%) of 55 patients remained on treatment in the Isa and Isa-dex arms, respectively. Overall response rate (primary efficacy end point) was 23.9% in the Isa arm and 43.6% in the Isa-dex arm (odds ratio, 0.405; 95% confidence interval, 0.192-0.859; P = .008). Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 4.9 and 18.9 months for Isa, and 10.2 and 17.3 months for Isa-dex. Infusion reactions (mostly grade 1/2) and hematologic abnormalities were the most common adverse events. There was a similar incidence of grade 3 or higher infections in both groups (22.0% and 21.8%). In conclusion, addition of dexamethasone to isatuximab increased response rates and survival outcomes with no detrimental effect on safety. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01084252.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933767PMC
March 2021

Ixazomib as Postinduction Maintenance for Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Not Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: The Phase III TOURMALINE-MM4 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 6;38(34):4030-4041. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Purpose: Maintenance therapy prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) not undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) but has generally been limited to immunomodulatory agents. Other options that complement the induction regimen with favorable toxicity are needed.

Patients And Methods: The phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled TOURMALINE-MM4 study randomly assigned (3:2) patients with NDMM not undergoing ASCT who achieved better than or equal to partial response after 6-12 months of standard induction therapy to receive the oral proteasome inhibitor (PI) ixazomib or placebo on days 1, 8, and 15 of 28-day cycles as maintenance for 24 months. The primary endpoint was PFS since time of randomization.

Results: Patients were randomly assigned to receive ixazomib (n = 425) or placebo (n = 281). TOURMALINE-MM4 met its primary endpoint with a 34.1% reduction in risk of progression or death with ixazomib versus placebo (median PFS since randomization, 17.4 9.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.659; 95% CI, 0.542 to 0.801; < .001; median follow-up, 21.1 months). Ixazomib significantly benefitted patients who achieved complete or very good partial response postinduction (median PFS, 25.6 12.9 months; HR, 0.586; < .001). With ixazomib versus placebo, 36.6% versus 23.2% of patients had grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs); 12.9% versus 8.0% discontinued treatment because of TEAEs. Common any-grade TEAEs included nausea (26.8% 8.0%), vomiting (24.2% 4.3%), and diarrhea (23.2% 12.3%). There was no increase in new primary malignancies (5.2% 6.2%); rates of on-study deaths were 2.6% versus 2.2%.

Conclusion: Ixazomib maintenance prolongs PFS with no unexpected toxicity in patients with NDMM not undergoing ASCT. To our knowledge, this is the first PI demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial to have single-agent efficacy for maintenance and is the first oral PI option in this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768338PMC
December 2020

Melflufen: A Peptide-Drug Conjugate for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Med 2020 Sep 27;9(10). Epub 2020 Sep 27.

Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Despite the availability of new therapies that have led to improved outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma, most patients will eventually relapse. With triplet and even quadruplet combination therapies becoming standard in the first and second line, many patients will have few treatment options after second-line treatment. Melflufen (melphalan flufenamide) is a first-in-class peptide-drug conjugate (PDC) that targets aminopeptidases and rapidly releases alkylating agents into tumor cells. Once inside the tumor cells, melflufen is hydrolyzed by peptidases to release alkylator molecules, which become entrapped. Melflufen showed anti-myeloma activity in myeloma cells that were resistant to bortezomib and the alkylator melphalan. In early phase studies (O-12-M1 and HORIZON [OP-106]), melflufen plus dexamethasone has demonstrated encouraging clinical activity and a manageable safety profile in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including those with triple-class refractory disease and extramedullary disease. The Phase III OCEAN study (OP-104) is further evaluating melflufen plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The safety profile of melflufen is characterized primarily by clinically manageable hematologic adverse events. Melflufen, with its novel mechanism of action, has the potential to provide clinically meaningful benefits to patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including those with high unmet needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7601491PMC
September 2020

Recommendations for vaccination in multiple myeloma: a consensus of the European Myeloma Network.

Leukemia 2021 01 19;35(1):31-44. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Vaccination is one of the most successful medical interventions that has saved the life of millions of people. Vaccination is particularly important in patients with multiple myeloma, who have an increased risk of infections due to the disease-inherent immune suppression, and because of the immune suppressive effects of therapy. Hence, all appropriate measures should be exploited, to elicit an effective immune response to common pathogens like influenza, pneumococci, varicella zoster virus, and to those bacteria and viruses (haemophilus influenzae, meningococci, and hepatitis) that frequently may pose a significant risk to patients with multiple myeloma. Patients after autologous, and specifically after allogeneic transplantation have severely reduced antibody titers, and therefore require a broader spectrum of vaccinations. Response to vaccination in myeloma often is less vigorous than in the general population, mandating either measurement of the postvaccination antibody titers and/or repeating the vaccination. Here, we compile the existing data on vaccination in multiple myeloma and provide recommendations for clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-01016-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787974PMC
January 2021

Early Relapse Risk in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Characterized by Next-generation Sequencing.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Sep 2;26(18):4832-4841. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

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

Purpose: Duration of first remission is important for the survival of patients with multiple myeloma.

Experimental Design: From the CoMMpass study (NCT01454297), 926 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, characterized by next-generation sequencing, were analyzed to evaluate those who experienced early progressive disease (PD; time to progression, TTP ≤18 months).

Results: After a median follow-up of 39 months, early PD was detected in 191/926 (20.6%) patients, 228/926 (24.6%) patients had late PD (TTP >18 months), while 507/926 (54.8%) did not have PD at the current follow-up. Compared with patients with late PD, patients with early PD had a lower at least very good partial response rate (47% vs. 82%, < 0.001) and more frequently acquired double refractoriness to immunomodulatory drugs (IMiD) and proteasome inhibitors (PI; 21% vs. 8%, < 0.001). Patients with early PD were at higher risk of death compared with patients with late PD and no PD (HR, 3.65; 95% CI, 2.7-4.93; < 0.001), showing a dismal median overall survival (32.8 months). In a multivariate logistic regression model, independent factors increasing the early PD risk were mutation (OR, 3.78, < 0.001), high lactate dehydrogenase levels (OR, 3.15, = 0.006), λ-chain translocation (OR, 2.25, = 0.033), and mutation (OR, 2.15, = 0.007). Carfilzomib-based induction (OR, 0.15, = 0.014), autologous stem-cell transplantation (OR, 0.27, < 0.001), and continuous therapy with PIs and IMiDs (OR, 0.34, = 0.024) mitigated the risk of early PD.

Conclusions: Early PD identifies a high-risk multiple myeloma population. Further research is needed to better identify baseline features predicting early PD and the optimal treatment approaches for patients at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0951DOI Listing
September 2020

New drugs in early development for treating multiple myeloma: all that glitters is not gold.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2020 Sep 30;29(9):989-1004. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

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

Introduction: The last twenty years have introduced new therapeutic agents for multiple myeloma (MM); these include proteasome inhibitors (PIs), immunomodulatory drugs (IMDs) and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). However, MM remains incurable, hence there is an unmet need for new agents for the treatment of advanced refractory disease. New agents could also be used in early lines to achieve improved, more sustained remission.

Areas Covered: We review the most promising agents investigated in early-phase trials for the treatment of MM and provide an emphasis on new agents directed against well-known targets (new PIs, IMDs and anti-CD38 mAbs). Drugs that work through distinct and numerous mechanisms of action (e.g. pro-apoptotic agents and tyrosine kinase inhibitors) and innovative immunotherapeutic approaches are also described. The paper culminates with our perspective on therapeutic approaches on the horizon for this disease.

Expert Opinion: IMD iberdomide and the export protein inhibitor selinexor demonstrated efficacy in heavily pretreated patients who had no other therapeutic options. We expect that immunotherapy with anti-BCMA BTEs and ADCs will revolutionize the approach to treating the early stages of the disease. Data on venetoclax in t(11;14)-positive patients may pave the way for personalized therapy. Not all new agents under early clinical evaluation will be investigated in regulatory phase III trials; one of the most important challenges is to identify those that could make a difference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13543784.2020.1772753DOI Listing
September 2020

Melflufen plus dexamethasone in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (O-12-M1): a multicentre, international, open-label, phase 1-2 study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 May 23;7(5):e395-e407. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

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

Background: Multiple myeloma is an incurable haematological malignancy, representing over 10% of haematological cancers in the USA. We did a phase 1-2 study of melflufen and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma to determine the maximum tolerated dose of melflufen and to investigate its safety and efficacy.

Methods: We did a multicentre, international, dose-confirmation and dose-expansion, open-label, phase 1-2 study in seven centres in the USA and Europe. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, had received two or more previous lines of therapy (including lenalidomide and bortezomib), were refractory to their last line of therapy, and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or less. In phase 1, patients received an intravenous infusion of melflufen at 15 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, or 55 mg for 30 min on day 1 in 21-day cycles plus oral dexamethasone 40 mg weekly and did not receive melflufen as a single agent. Melflufen was also tested in a single-agent cohort late in phase 2 in a small number of patients at the maximum tolerated dose identified in phase 1. In phase 2, patients were enrolled at the maximum tolerated dose in the melflufen plus dexamethasone in the combination cohort.. The phase 1 primary objective was to determine the maximum tolerated dose. The phase 2 primary objective was to evaluate overall response rate and clinical benefit rate. This primary analysis was done per protocol, in the all-treated and efficacy-evaluable population (defined as patients who received at least two doses of melflufen and who had a response assessment after baseline). The single-agent melflufen cohort was closed on October 6, 2016, as per the recommendation by the data safety monitoring committee on the basis of interim data suggesting greater activity in the melflufen plus dexamethasone cohort. The study is completed but survival follow-up is ongoing. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01897714.

Findings: Patients were enrolled between July 4, 2013, and Dec 31, 2016: 23 patients in phase 1 and 58 in phase 2, including six patients from phase 1 treated at the maximum tolerated dose of melflufen 40 mg plus weekly dexamethasone. In phase 2, 45 patients were given a combination of melflufen plus dexamethasone and 13 patients were given single-agent melflufen. In phase 1, the established maximum tolerated dose was 40 mg of melflufen in combination with dexamethasone. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed in the first three dose cohorts (15 mg, 25 mg, and 40 mg). The highest dose cohort tested (55 mg) exceeded the maximum tolerated dose because four of six patients experienced grade 4 neutropenia with grade 4 thrombocytopenia also occurring in three of these patients; therefore, the planned highest dose of 70 mg was not tested. In phase 2, patients treated with combination therapy achieved an overall response rate of 31% (14 of 45 patients; 95% CI 18-47) and clinical benefit rate of 49% (22 of 45; 34-64) in the all-treated population, and 41% (14 of 34; 25-59) and 65% (22 of 34; 47-80) in the efficacy-evaluable population. In the phase 2 single-agent cohort, the overall response rate was 8% (one of 13 patients; 0·2-36·0) and the clinical benefit rate was 23% (three of 13; 5-54). Among the 45 patients given melflufen plus dexamethasone during phase 2, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were clinically manageable thrombocytopenia (28 [62%] patients) and neutropenia (26 [58%]), and non-haematological toxicity was infrequent. 24 serious adverse events were reported in 17 (38%) of 45 patients, most commonly pneumonia (five [11%]). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events that occurred in the phase 2 single-agent cohort of 13 patients were neutropenia (nine [69%]) and thrombocytopenia (eight [62%]). Nine patients experienced serious adverse events in the single-agent cohort, most commonly thrombocytopenia (two [15%]). There were three deaths from adverse events within 30 days of treatment that were possibly related to treatment: one in the 25 mg cohort in phase 1 (due to bacteraemia) and two in the phase 2 combination cohort (one due to neutropenic sepsis and one due to Escherichia coli sepsis), each in the setting of progressive disease.

Interpretation: These data show that melflufen is active in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma and tolerable in most patients. These results show the feasibility of this regimen and support the initiation of additional clinical studies of melflufen in multiple myeloma, both in combination with dexamethasone as well as in triplet regimens with additional classes of drugs.

Funding: Oncopeptides AB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30044-2DOI Listing
May 2020

Carfilzomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone for newly diagnosed, high-risk myeloma patients not eligible for transplant: a pooled analysis of two studies.

Haematologica 2021 Apr 1;106(4):1079-1085. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Division of Hematology,University of Torino, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino.

Despite remarkable advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma in the last decades, the prognosis of patients harboring high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities remains dismal as compared to that of standard-risk patients. Proteasome inhibitors demonstrated to partially ameliorate the prognosis of high-risk patients. We pooled together data from two phase I/II trials on transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma receiving upfront carfilzomib cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone followed by carfilzomib maintenance. The aim of this analysis was to compare treatment outcomes in patients with standard- versus high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. High risk was defined by the presence of at least one chromosomal abnormality, including t(4;14), del17p and t(14;16). Overall, 94 patients were included in the analysis: 57 (61%) in the standard-risk and 37 (39%) in the high-risk group. Median follow-up was 38 months. In standard- vs. high-risk patients, we observed similar progression-free survival (3-year PFS: 52% vs. 43%, respectively; p=0.50), overall survival (3-year OS: 78% vs. 73%; p=0.38), and overall response rate (88% vs 95%; p=0.47), with no statistical differences between the two groups. No difference in terms of progression-free survival was observed between patients with or without del17p. Carfilzomib, used both as induction and maintenance agent for transplant-ineligible newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients, mitigated the poor prognosis carried by high-risk cytogenetics and resulted into similar progression-free survival and overall survival, as compared to standard-risk patients. ClinicalTrials.gov IDs: NCT01857115 (IST-CAR-561) and NCT01346787 (IST-CAR-506).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.243428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018137PMC
April 2021

Lenalidomide-based induction and maintenance in elderly newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients: updated results of the EMN01 randomized trial.

Haematologica 2020 07 3;105(7):1937-1947. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

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

n the EMN01 trial, the addition of an alkylator (melphalan or cyclophosphamide) to lenalidomide-steroid induction therapy was prospectively evaluated in transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma. After induction, patients were randomly assigned to maintenance treatment with lenalidomide alone or with prednisone continuously. The analysis presented here (median follow-up of 71 months) is focused on maintenance treatment and on subgroup analyses defined according to the International Myeloma Working Group Frailty Score. Of the 654 evaluable patients, 217 were in the lenalidomide-dexamethasone arm, 217 in the melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide arm and 220 in the cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide arm. With regards to the Frailty Score, 284 (43%) patients were fit, 205 (31%) were intermediate-fit and 165 (25%) were frail. After induction, 402 patients were eligible for maintenance therapy (lenalidomide arm, n=204; lenalidomide-prednisone arm, n=198). After a median duration of maintenance of 22.0 months, progression-free survival from the start of maintenance was 22.2 months with lenalidomide-prednisone 18.6 months with lenalidomide (hazard ratio 0.85, =0.14), with no differences across frailty subgroups. The most frequent grade ≥3 toxicity was neutropenia (10% of lenalidomide-prednisone and 21% of lenalidomide patients; =0.001). Grade ≥3 non-hematologic adverse events were rare (<15%). In fit patients, melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared to cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide (hazard ratio 0.72, =0.05) and lenalidomide-dexamethasone (hazard ratio 0.72, =0.04). Likewise, a trend towards a better overall survival was noted for patients treated with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide or cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide, as compared to lenalidomide-dexamethasone. No differences were observed in intermediate-fit and frail patients. This analysis showed positive outcomes of maintenance with lenalidomide-based regimens, with a good safety profile. For the first time, we showed that fit patients benefit from a full-dose triplet regimen, while intermediate-fit and frail patients benefit from gentler regimens. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT01093196.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.226407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327625PMC
July 2020

First-line therapy with either bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone or lenalidomide-dexamethasone followed by lenalidomide for transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma patients: a pooled analysis of two randomized trials.

Haematologica 2020 04 27;105(4):1074-1080. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

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

Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) and continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone (Rd) represent the standard treatment of transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). To date, no randomized trial has compared VMP to Rd, and there is no evidence of the optimal treatment for newly diagnosed MM, particularly in patients with high-risk cytogenetics [del(17p), t(4;14) or t(14;16)]. We pooled together data from patients with newly diagnosed MM treated with VMP or Rd induction followed by lenalidomide maintenance 10 mg (Rd-R) enrolled in the GIMEMA-MM-03-05 and EMN01 trials, to evaluate the efficacy of these treatments in different subgroups of patients, focusing on those with standard- and high-risk cytogenetics. Overall, 474 patients were analyzed (VMP: 257 patients; Rd-R: 217 patients). No differences in progression-free survival (hazard ratio=0.96) and overall survival (hazard ratio=1.08) were observed between standard-risk patients treated with VMP or Rd-R, whereas among the high-risk patients, the probabilities of progression (hazard ratio=0.54) and death (hazard ratio=0.73) were lower in the patients treated with VMP than in those treated with Rd-R. In particular, standard-risk patients >75 years benefited less from VMP than from Rd-R (hazard ratio for progression-free survival=0.96; hazard ratio for overall survival=1.81). In this non-randomized analysis, VMP and Rd-R were equally effective in younger (≤75 years), standard-risk patients, while older ones (>75 years) benefited more from Rd-R. In high-risk patients, VMP improved progression-free survival and overall survival irrespective of age. The source trials are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01063179 and NCT01093196).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.220657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7109734PMC
April 2020

Approach to the Older Adult With Multiple Myeloma.

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2019 Jan 17;39:500-518. Epub 2019 May 17.

4 Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a disease of aging adults, and numerous therapeutic options are available for this growing demographic. MM treatment of older adults continues to evolve and includes novel combinations, new generations of targeted agents, immunotherapy, and increasing use of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Understanding age-related factors, independent of chronologic age itself, is an increasingly recognized factor in MM survivorship, especially in understudied populations, such as octogenarians. Octogenarians have inferior survival that cannot be explained by cytogenetic profiles alone. Incorporating assessments of geriatric factors can provide guidance on how to intensify or de-escalate therapeutic options. Functional status, using objective testing, is superior to traditional metrics of performance status and should be implemented to optimize the risk-benefit ratio of ASCT. ASCT is feasible and cost-effective, and chronologic age should not exclude ASCT eligibility. Upfront ASCT remains the standard of care, in the context of a sequential approach that includes pre-transplantation induction and post-transplantation maintenance. High-risk MM is classically defined by disease characteristics, yet shifting frameworks suggest that the high-risk designation could refer to any patient subgroup who is at risk for poorer outcomes-beyond disease-focused outcomes to patient-focused outcomes. Defining the optimal treatment of subgroups of older patients with high-risk disease on the basis of chromosomal abnormalities is unexplored. Here, we review tools to assess individual health status, explore vulnerability in octogenarians with MM, address ASCT decision-making, and examine high-risk MM to understand factors that contribute to survival disparities for older adults with MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/EDBK_239067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363047PMC
January 2019

Cardiovascular Organ Damage and Blood Pressure Levels Predict Adverse Events in Multiple Myeloma Patients Undergoing Carfilzomib Therapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 May 3;11(5). Epub 2019 May 3.

Hypertension Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, "Città della Salute e della Scienza" Hospital, 3-10126 Turin, Italy.

Carfilzomib is a second-generation proteasome inhibitor approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). It seems to determine cardiovascular toxicity, primarily arterial hypertension. No predictive factors for cardiovascular adverse events (CVAEs) are known in patients affected by multiple myeloma treated with carfilzomib. We evaluated the role of cardiovascular organ damage parameters to predict CVAEs in MM patients taking carfilzomib. Seventy patients affected by MM were prospectively enrolled. A comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation was performed before carfilzomib therapy; they underwent a transthoracic echocardiogram and the assessment of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. All the patients were followed up (FU) to determine the incidence of CVAEs. The mean age was 60.3 ± 8.2, and 51% were male. The median FU was 9.3 (4.3; 20.4) months. A proportion of 33% experienced CVAEs, 91% of them had uncontrolled hypertension, 4.5% acute coronary syndrome, and 4.5% cardiac arrhythmias. Subjects with CVAEs after carfilzomib treatment had significantly higher blood pressure values, left ventricular mass (98 ± 23 vs. 85 ± 17 g/m, = 0.01), and pulse wave velocity (8.5 ± 1.7 vs. 7.5 ± 1.6 m/s, = 0.02) at baseline evaluation compared to the others. Furthermore, baseline uncontrolled blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, and pulse wave velocity ≥ 9 m/s were able to identify patients at higher risk of developing CVAEs during FU. These preliminary findings indicate that blood pressure control, left ventricular mass, and pulse wave velocity may predict CVAEs in MM patients treated with carfilzomib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050622DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562621PMC
May 2019

Once-weekly twice-weekly carfilzomib in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: a pooled analysis of two phase I/II studies.

Haematologica 2019 08 7;104(8):1640-1647. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

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

Twice-weekly carfilzomib is approved at 27 and 56 mg/m to treat relapsed multiple myeloma patients. In the phase III study ARROW, once-weekly 70 mg/m 2 carfilzomib prolonged the median progression-free survival of relapsed multiple myeloma patients in comparison with twice-weekly 27 mg/m carfilzomib, without adding significant toxicity. Data were pooled from two phase I/II studies of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients who received nine induction cycles of carfilzomib (either 70 mg/m once-weekly or 36 mg/m twice-weekly), cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone, followed by carfilzomib maintenance. Overall, 121 transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma were analyzed (once-weekly, n=63; twice-weekly, n=58). We found no significant difference in median progression-free survival [35.7 months (95%CI: 23.7-not reached, NR) 35.5 months (95%CI: 24.3-NR); HR: 1.39; =0.26] and 3-year overall survival [70% [95%CI: 59%-84%) 72% (95%CI: 60%-85%); HR: 1.27; =0.5] between once-weekly and twice-weekly carfilzomib. From the start of maintenance, 3-year progression-free survival [47% (95%CI: 33%-68%) 51% (95%CI: 38%-70%); HR: 1.04; =0.92] and overall survival [72% (95%CI: 58%-89%) 73% (95%CI: 59%-90%); HR: 0.82; =0.71] were similar in the once- twice-weekly carfilzomib. The rate of grade 3-5 hematologic (24% 30%; =0.82) and non-hematologic (38% 41%; =0.83) adverse events was similar in the two groups. Once-weekly 70 mg/m carfilzomib as induction and maintenance therapy for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients was as safe and effective as twice-weekly 36 mg/m carfilzomib and provided a more convenient schedule. The trials are registered at : 01857115 (IST-CAR-561 and 01346787 IST-CAR-506).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.208272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669142PMC
August 2019

Prognostic or predictive value of circulating cytokines and angiogenic factors for initial treatment of multiple myeloma in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 01 9;12(1). Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro" Medical School, Bari, Italy.

Background: Several new drugs are approved for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), but no validated biomarkers are available for the prediction of a clinical outcome. We aimed to establish whether pretreatment blood and bone marrow plasma concentrations of major cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) of patients from a phase 3 trial of a MM treatment could have a prognostic and predictive value in terms of response to therapy and progression-free and overall survival and whether these patients could be stratified for their prognosis.

Methods: Blood and bone marrow plasma levels of Ang-2, FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, PDGF-β, IL-8, TNF-α, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were determined at diagnosis in MM patients enrolled in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These levels were correlated both reciprocally and with the type of therapy and patients' characteristics and with a group of non-MM patients as controls.

Results: No significant differences were detected between the blood and bone marrow plasma levels of angiogenic cytokines. A cutoff for each CAF was established. The therapeutic response of patients with blood plasma levels of CAFs lower than the cutoff was better than the response of those with higher levels in terms of percentage of responding patients and quality of response.

Conclusion: FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, and PDGF-β plasma levels at diagnosis have predictive significance for response to treatment. The stratification of patients based on the levels of CAFs at diagnosis and their variations after therapy is useful to characterize different risk groups concerning outcome and response to therapy.

Trial Registration: Clinical trial information can be found at the following link: NCT01063179.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-018-0691-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327520PMC
January 2019

Is re-challenge still an option as salvage therapy in multiple myeloma? The case of REal-life BOrtezomib re-Use as secoND treatment for relapsed patients exposed frontline to bortezomib-based therapies (the REBOUND Study).

Ann Hematol 2019 Feb 23;98(2):361-367. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Haematology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Therapeutic re-challenge is currently a debated issue in the field of multiple myeloma (MM), given the recent availability of several new drugs and combinations. However, very few specific evidences are available about bortezomib re-use at first relapse. This multicenter, observational, retrospective study enrolled 134 MM patients with significant response after bortezomib-based frontline regimens and who had received a first salvage treatment containing bortezomib at relapse. The overall response rate was 71%, including 40% partial responses, 24% very good partial responses, and 7% complete responses. Re-treatment was well-tolerated, with no significant new or unexpected toxicities observed. The median duration of second progression-free survival (PFS) was 15 months, while median PFS2 was 55 months. With a median follow-up of 56 months, overall survival was 94 months for the entire series, without significant differences between patients undergoing or not undergoing transplant procedures. This real-life survey indicates that re-treatment including bortezomib as a first salvage therapy could be still considered in MM patients achieving durable response after initial exposure to bortezomib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-018-3524-1DOI Listing
February 2019

Early mortality in myeloma patients treated with first-generation novel agents thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib at diagnosis: A pooled analysis.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2018 Oct 18;130:27-35. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

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

Introduction: Early toxic death (≤60 days of diagnosis) in elderly multiple myeloma (MM) patients is attributable to active disease, age and co-morbidities. Rate of early toxic deaths is 10% with conventional chemotherapy mainly due to infection and renal failure. Novel agents have improved MM outcome at the expense of newer toxicity.

Methods: We analyzed 1146 individual patient data to assess toxic deaths during induction treatment with first-generation novel agents thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib.

Results: During first-line therapy, 119/1146 patients (10%) died for any cause, and 47/1146 (4%) due to toxicity, including 12/1146 (1%) early deaths. The 24-month cumulative incidence was 4.1% without any difference between bortezomib (18/503 patients, 4%) and lenalidomide (29/643patients, 5%; p = 0.31). Toxic deaths occurred in 34/1039 (3%) patients <80 years and 13/107 (12%) patients ≥80 years. Causes were cardiac events (28%), infections (26%) and vascular complications (15%). In a multivariate analysis, older age and unfavorable ISS stage increased the risk of death.

Conclusion: First-generation novel agents significantly reduced toxic deaths compared to conventional chemotherapy. One third of deaths during first-line therapy were due to cumulative drug-related toxicities, thus supportive approaches and prevention strategies should be optimized. The higher mortality rate for toxicity in octogenarians confirms the need for a careful frailty assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2018.07.003DOI Listing
October 2018

Maintenance Treatment and Survival in Patients With Myeloma: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis.

JAMA Oncol 2018 10;4(10):1389-1397

Department of Hematology, Institut Universitaire du Cancer Toulouse Oncopole, Toulouse, France.

Importance: Several trials demonstrated the impact of novel agent-based maintenance in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM), but there is no current evidence demonstrating the superiority of one regimen over the other, owing to the lack of direct/indirect comparisons.

Objective: To analyze and compare the effectiveness of different maintenance regimens in NDMM via a network meta-analysis.

Data Sources: We performed 2 independent searches in PubMed and Cochrane databases, and then we identified all the records registered after 1999 and on or before November 20, 2017.

Study Selection: By blinded review, we identified prospective phase 3 randomized trials evaluating novel agent-based maintenance in patients with NDMM; the included studies compared at least 2 maintenance approaches; comparators included placebo and no maintenance. From 364 screened records, 11 studies were included.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: We followed (independent extraction) the guidelines provided by the PRISMA Report and the EQUATOR Network. The evidence was synthesized using a network meta-analysis (NMA). To allow comparison of all treatments, no maintenance was selected as common comparator and the effect of placebo was assumed to be the same as no treatment. The best option was identified by a Bayesian consistency model based on hazard ratio (HR), 95% credible interval (CrI), probability of being the best treatment (PbBT), and median ranking distribution (MedR).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Outcomes of interest were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Eleven trials and 8 treatments including a total of 5073 participants were included. By PFS analysis, lenalidomide-based regimens (lenalidomide-prednisone, lenalidomide alone) were identified as the most effective options (HR, 0.39 [95% CrI, 0.28-0.53] and 0.47 [95% CrI, 0.39-0.55], respectively; MedR, 1 and 2; overall PbBT, 74%). Four treatments (thalidomide-interferon, thalidomide-bortezomib, bortezomib-prednisone, thalidomide alone) showed an HR in favor of maintenance. By OS analysis, lenalidomide alone was identified as the best option (HR, 0.76; 95% CrI, 0.51-1.16; MedR, 2; PbBT, 38%), followed by bortezomib-thalidomide and bortezomib-prednisone. Similar features were noticed in the restricted network including transplant trials, in the sensitivity analysis, and in most of the prognostic subgroups.

Conclusions And Relevance: Based on PFS and OS results of this NMA, lenalidomide maintenance appears to be the best treatment option, by synthesizing the available evidence of novel agent-based maintenance in the past 20 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.2961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6233774PMC
October 2018

Cardiovascular adverse events in modern myeloma therapy - Incidence and risks. A review from the European Myeloma Network (EMN) and Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension (SIIA).

Haematologica 2018 09 26;103(9):1422-1432. Epub 2018 Jul 26.

Department of Medicine I, Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation, Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Cardiovascular disease in patients with multiple myeloma may derive from factors unrelated to the disease (age, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, prior cardiovascular diseases), related to the disease (cardiac AL-amyloidosis, hyperviscosity, high-output failure, arteriovenous shunting, anemia, renal dysfunction) and/or related to anti-myeloma treatment (anthracyclines, corticosteroids, alkylating agents, immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors). Good knowledge of cardiovascular events, effective dose reductions, prevention and management of early and late cardiovascular side effects of chemotherapeutic agents are essential in current clinical practice. Myeloma experts are obliged to carefully balance the efficacy and toxicity of drugs for each individual patient. This review summarizes current data and novel insights into cardiovascular adverse events of today's anti-myeloma treatment, focusing on carfilzomib, as a starting point for developing consensus recommendations on preventing and managing cardiovascular side effects in patients with multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.191288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6119131PMC
September 2018

Determining treatment intensity in elderly patients with multiple myeloma.

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 2018 09 13;18(9):917-930. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

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

Introduction: In the majority of cases, multiple myeloma is a disease occurring in elderly patients. In the last decades, a major improvement in myeloma patients' outcome has been achieved with the introduction of several new drugs. However, this positive outcome was less likely to occur in elderly patients. Areas covered: An overall increase of myeloma cases in elderly patients is expected in the next years. This patient population is highly heterogeneous in terms of physiological functions and ability to resist stressing conditions such as myeloma and its treatment. While physicians cannot prevent the stress arising from the disease itself, the intensity of therapeutic approaches can be tuned according to patients' predicted tolerance. In this review, we focus on the assessment of patients' fitness and on available significant data on treatment efficacy and tolerability in elderly patients. Expert commentary: Fit, elderly patients should undergo full-dose therapy to maximize the depth of response, while intermediate and frail patients benefit from reduced-dose regimens in order to avoid toxicity and preserve quality of life. Ongoing trials will provide further evidence to individualize treatment on the basis of geriatric assessment and disease characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737140.2018.1496823DOI Listing
September 2018

Treatment Intensification With Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation and Lenalidomide Maintenance Improves Survival Outcomes of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma in Complete Response.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2018 08 28;18(8):533-540. Epub 2018 May 28.

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

Background: High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT-ASCT) and maintenance treatment with novel agents are the best options for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, increasing the rate of complete response (CR) and prolonging progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Indeed, the achievement of a CR is a predictor of long-term survival among transplant-eligible patients. However, it is unclear whether patients reaching a CR after induction treatment could receive less intense consolidation or avoid maintenance therapy.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed CR patients treated in 2 phase III trials, GIMEMA-RV-MM-PI-209 and RV-MM-EMN-441, to compare HDT-ASCT with an R-Alk (lenalidomide, alkylator) regimen as consolidation, and lenalidomide (R) maintenance with no maintenance. The primary endpoints were PFS, second PFS (PFS2), and OS from consolidation and maintenance (_m).

Results: Overall, the data from 166 patients in CR were analyzed, 95 in the HDT-ASCT group and 71 in the R-Alk group. The CR patients who received HDT-ASCT had a better PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; P = .01), PFS2 (HR, 0.46; P = .02), and OS (HR, 0.42; P = .03) compared with patients randomized to R-Alk. The survival benefit with HDT-ASCT was confirmed among all the subgroups, according to age, International Staging System (ISS stage, cytogenetic profile, and receipt of maintenance therapy. CR patients who received lenalidomide maintenance had a better PFS_m (4 years: 54% vs. 19%; HR, 0.43; P = .02) compared with those who received no maintenance. However, no difference was observed in terms of PFS2_m (4 years: 72% vs. 58%; HR, 0.83; P = .67) and OS_m (4 years: 79% vs. 72%; HR, 0.82; P = .73) with maintenance therapy.

Conclusion: Even in CR patients, outcomes were improved by an intensified approach with HDT-ASCT consolidation and lenalidomide-based maintenance therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.05.019DOI Listing
August 2018