Bortezomib-Based Therapy Effective for Relapsed/Refractory Myeloma

A group of “real-world” patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma had high response rates and an overall survival (OS) of about 3 years when treated with bortezomib-based therapy, according to results of the electronic Velcade Observational Study (eVOBs).

“While the benefits of bortezomib-based therapy have been exemplified in clinical trials, use of bortezomib for RRMM [relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma] in real-world medical practice has rarely been studied prospectively,” Evangelos Terpos, of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, and colleagues, wrote in the European Journal of Haematology“Robust, real-world evidence is becoming increasingly important as the efficacy and safety of bortezomib in the treatment of RRMM as reported in the highly controlled clinical trial setting may differ from experience in everyday oncology practice.”

The open-label, observational, multicenter study included 873 patients scheduled to receive intravenous bortezomib for relapsed or refractory myeloma. Patients had a median of two lines of therapy prior to initiating bortezomib; 30% of the patients had thalidomide-based treatment, 22% had melphalan-based treatment, and 12% had cyclophosphamide/vincristine/doxorubicin/dexamethasone–based therapy.

Sixty-nine percent of patients responded to treatment, including 37% with a complete or near-complete response. The median time to response was 1.8 months, and the median time to next therapy was 9.7 months. Patients had a median treatment-free interval (TFI) of almost 8 months.

After 22.6 months’ follow-up, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12 months and the median OS was 36.1 months.

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