Safety and efficacy of subcutaneous formulation of bortezomib versus the conventional intravenous formulation in multiple myeloma.

Therapeutic advances in hematology 04/2012; 3(2):117-24. DOI: 10.1177/2040620711432020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The discovery of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway first, and the proteasome inhibitors thereafter were not made in the hope of improving the treatment of malignant diseases. However, bortezomib, the first in class proteasome inhibitor introduced in the clinical practice has contributed to improve the outcome of patients with multiple myeloma, at relapse or disease progression as well as upfront. The results observed in a large randomized trial (APEX) comparing bortezomib and high-dose dexamethasone demonstrated a significant benefit for bortezomib in terms of response rate, progression-free and overall survival. These results led to bortezomib being approved for use in relapsed and/or refractory myeloma patients. Subsequent studies demonstrated that its activity could be enhanced in combination with other drugs; and the next step was to move to the newly diagnosed patient population; in fact, bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) is approved as a standard of care for newly diagnosed elderly patients. However, toxicity, especially peripheral neuropathy, as well as the intravenous route required for its administration are the two most significant bortezomib-related issues. To try to reduce the peripheral neuropathy, new guidelines for its management and the introduction of weekly schedules of administration have contributed to significantly decrease its incidence and the subcutaneous administration has been recently introduce to avoid the intravenous (IV) route. Results obtained in phase I/II and III studies have confirmed that subcutaneous administration is feasible and represents an additional step towards the optimization of bortezomib use, resulting in a probably more convenient method than the IV route that is at least as effective.

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    ABSTRACT: Over the last 15 years, substantial progress has been made in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). New chemotherapeutic options with the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide and with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib have increased the response rates before and after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Incorporation of the novel agents into the treatment of newly diagnosed MM and at relapse is now standard of care also for patients with MM not eligible for ASCT. However, the use of thalidomide and bortezomib is frequently associated with a dose-limiting peripheral neuropathy. In order to take full advantage of the therapeutic potential, a risk assessment for neurotoxicity is needed on a case-by-case basis. This assessment includes pre-existing neurological symptoms due to the MM, any comorbidities, and past or planned treatment regimens. The aim is to achieve maximum efficacy while minimizing the risk of developing chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (CIPN). This requires a neurological evaluation of the patient at regular intervals, the implementation of preventive measures, and the development of validated therapeutic strategies for emerging neurotoxic side effects. This review focuses on the incidence, prevention, and management of peripheral neurotoxicity due to thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide in the treatment of MM. © 2014 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.
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