Current Multiple Myeloma Treatment Strategies with Novel Agents: A European Perspective

Department of Medicine, Wilhelminenspital, Montleartstr. 37, 1160 Vienna, Austria.
The Oncologist (Impact Factor: 4.87). 01/2010; 15(1):6-25. DOI: 10.1634/theoncologist.2009-0203
Source: PubMed


The treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) has undergone significant developments in recent years. The availability of the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide has expanded treatment options and has improved the outcome of patients with MM. Following the introduction of these agents in the relapsed/refractory setting, they are also undergoing investigation in the initial treatment of MM. A number of phase III trials have demonstrated the efficacy of novel agent combinations in the transplant and nontransplant settings, and based on these results standard induction regimens are being challenged and replaced. In the transplant setting, a number of newer induction regimens are now available that have been shown to be superior to the vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone regimen. Similarly, in the front-line treatment of patients not eligible for transplantation, regimens incorporating novel agents have been found to be superior to the traditional melphalan plus prednisone regimen. Importantly, some of the novel agents appear to be active in patients with high-risk disease, such as adverse cytogenetic features, and certain comorbidities, such as renal impairment. This review presents an overview of the most recent data with these novel agents and summarizes European treatment practices incorporating the novel agents.

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    • "With the advent of novel agents, such as thalidomide and bortezomib with/without high-dose dexamethasone, RF reversal rates have improved [23–26]. Further studies on novel agents reported bortezomib plus high-dose dexamethasone (BD) regimen to be more efficacious and possibly having renal protective effect [27–35]; therefore, this combination has become preferred therapy in MM with RF [36]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Renal failure (RF) reversal in multiple myeloma (MM) is associated with an improved prognosis. Light chain myeloma, serum creatinine (SCr) > 4 mg/dL, extensive proteinuria, early infections, and certain renal biopsy findings are associated with lower rates of RF reversal. Our patient is a 67-year-old female with multiple poor prognostic factors for RF reversal who demonstrated a rapid renal response with bortezomib and dexamethasone (BD) regimen. She presented initially with altered mental status. On exam, she appeared lethargic and dehydrated and had generalized tenderness. She had been taking ibuprofen as needed for pain for a few weeks. Labs showed a white cell count—18,900/ μ L with no bandemia, hemoglobin 10.8 gm/dL, potassium—6.7 mEq/L, bicarbonate—15 mEq/L, blood urea nitrogen—62 mg/dL, SCr—5.6 mg/dL (baseline: 1.10), and corrected calcium—11.8 mg/dL. A rapid flu test was positive. Imaging studies were unremarkable. Her EKG showed sinus tachycardia and her urinalysis was unremarkable. The unexplained RF in an elderly individual in conjunction with hypercalcemia and anemia prompted a MM work-up; eventually, lambda variant MM was diagnosed. An immediate (4 days) renal response defined as 50% reduction in SCr was noticed after initiation of the BD regimen.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
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    • "Nevertheless, some patients do not respond to bortezomib or they eventually relapse after response [12] [13]. Drugs that overcome this bortezomib resistance are needed. "
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    ABSTRACT: One of the greatest challenges in multiple myeloma (MM) treatment is to overcome drug resistance. Many pathways are involved including Notch signaling. Notch receptors are expressed by MM cells and Notch ligand Dll1 is present on bone marrow (BM) stromal cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Dll1 can activate Notch signaling mostly through Notch2 receptor and can contribute to drug resistance to bortezomib, both in murine and human MM cells. Blocking the Notch pathway by DAPT (gamma secretase inhibitor) could reverse this effect and increased sensitivity to bortezomib. We describe the upregulation of CYP1A1, a Cytochrome P450 enzyme involved in drug metabolism, as a possible mechanism of Dll1/Notch induced bortezomib resistance. This was confirmed by inhibition experiments using α-Naphthoflavone or CYP1A1-siRNA that resulted in an increased sensitivity to bortezomib. In addition, in vivo data showed that combination treatment of DAPT with bortezomib was able to increase bortezomib sensitivity and prolonged overall survival in the 5T33MM mouse model. Our data provide a potential strategy to overcome bortezomib resistance by Notch inhibition in MM therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    • "Although there are MM treatments, the disease remains incurable and survival is limited to 6 to 7 years after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for patients who undergo the procedure and approximately 3 years in patients who do not [1,5,6]. Current treatments for relapsed and/or refractory disease include combination regimens using melphalan or alkylating agents, bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide with or without corticosteroids [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Carfilzomib is a next-generation proteasome inhibitor with single-agent activity in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (R/R MM). In PX-171-003-A1, a single-arm phase 2 study of carfilzomib monotherapy in heavily pretreated patients, the overall response rate was 23.7%, 37% of patients achieved ≥ minimal response and median overall survival (OS) was 15.6 months. Based on this study, carfilzomib was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of R/R MM. Herein we describe the trial design and rationale for a phase 3 randomized study, FOCUS (CarFilzOmib for AdvanCed Refractory MUltiple Myeloma European Study), being conducted to compare OS after treatment with single-agent carfilzomib to best supportive care (BSC) regimen in R/R MM. Methods Patients must have received ≥3 prior regimens, must be responsive to at least 1 line of therapy, and be refractory to their most recent therapy. Eligible patients are randomized 1:1 to receive either carfilzomib (28-day cycles at 20 mg/m2 IV on Days 1–2 of Cycle 1, escalating to 27 mg/m2 IV on Days 8, 9, 15, and 16 and continuing at 27 mg/m2 through Cycle 9 and Days 1, 2, 15, and 16 ≥ Cycle 10) or an active BSC regimen (corticosteroid treatment of prednisolone 30 mg, dexamethasone 6 mg, or equivalent every other day with optional cyclophosphamide 50 mg PO once daily). Patients will continue treatment until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or treatment discontinuation and will then enter long-term follow-up for survival. The primary endpoint is OS and secondary endpoints include progression-free survival, overall response rate, and safety. Disease assessments will be determined according to the International Myeloma Working Group Uniform Response Criteria with minimal response per European Blood and Marrow Transplantation Group criteria. Conclusions This phase 3 trial will provide more rigorous data for carfilzomib, as this is the first carfilzomib study with OS as the primary endpoint and will not be confounded by crossover and will provide more robust secondary response and safety results that will add to the data set from prior phase 2 studies. FOCUS will facilitate regulatory approvals around the world and expand treatment options for patients with R/R MM. Trial registration EudraCT No. 2009-016840-38; NCT01302392.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · BMC Cancer
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