Publications by Year: 2015

2015
Giralt S, Garderet L, Durie B, Cook G, Gahrton G, Bruno B, Hari P, Lokhorst H, McCarthy P, Krishnan A, et al. American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, and International Myeloma Working Group Consensus Conference on Salvage Hematopoietic Cell Tra. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation [Internet]. 2015;21(12):2039 - 2051. WebsiteAbstract
In contrast to the upfront setting in which the role of high-dose therapy with autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as consolidation of a first remission in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is well established, the role of high-dose therapy with autologous or allogeneic HCT has not been extensively studied in MM patients relapsing after primary therapy. The International Myeloma Working Group together with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation convened a meeting of MM experts to: (1) summarize current knowledge regarding the role of autologous or allogeneic HCT in MM patients progressing after primary therapy, (2) propose guidelines for the use of salvage HCT in MM, (3) identify knowledge gaps, (4) propose a research agenda, and (5) develop a collaborative initiative to move the research agenda forward. After reviewing the available data, the expert committee came to the following consensus statement for salvage autologous HCT: (1) In transplantation-eligible patients relapsing after primary therapy that did NOT include an autologous HCT, high-dose therapy with HCT as part of salvage therapy should be considered standard; (2) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any patients relapsing after primary therapy that includes an autologous HCT with initial remission duration of more than 18 months; (3) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT can be used as a bridging strategy to allogeneic HCT; (4) The role of postsalvage HCT maintenance needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials that should include new agents, such as monoclonal antibodies, immune-modulating agents, and oral proteasome inhibitors; (5) Autologous HCT consolidation should be explored as a strategy to develop novel conditioning regimens or post-HCT strategies in patients with short (less than 18 months remissions) after primary therapy; and (6) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role of salvage autologous HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy comparing it to "best non-HCT" therapy. The expert committee also underscored the importance of collecting enough hematopoietic stem cells to perform 2 transplantations early in the course of the disease. Regarding allogeneic HCT, the expert committee agreed on the following consensus statements: (1) Allogeneic HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any eligible patient with early relapse (less than 24 months) after primary therapy that included an autologous HCT and/or high-risk features (ie, cytogenetics, extramedullary disease, plasma cell leukemia, or high lactate dehydrogenase); (2) Allogeneic HCT should be performed in the context of a clinical trial if possible; (3) The role of postallogeneic HCT maintenance therapy needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials; and (4) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role salvage allogeneic HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy. © 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Dimopoulos MA, Weise KC, Song KW, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Moreau P, Banos A, Oriol A, Garderet L, et al. Cytogenetics and long-term survival of patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with pomalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1327 - 1333. WebsiteAbstract
Patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who no longer receive benefit from novel agents have limited treatment options and short expected survival. del(17p) and t(4;14) are correlated with shortened survival. The phase 3 MM-003 trial demonstrated significant progression-free and overall survival benefits from treatment with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone compared to high-dose dexamethasone among patients in whom bortezomib and lenalidomide treatment had failed. At an updated median follow-up of 15.4 months, the progression-free survival was 4.0 versus 1.9 months (HR, 0.50; P<0.001), and median overall survival was 13.1 versus 8.1 months (HR, 0.72; P=0.009). Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone, compared with highdose dexamethasone, improved progression-free survival in patients with del(17p) (4.6 versus 1.1 months; HR, 0.34; P <0.001), t(4;14) (2.8 versus 1.9 months; HR, 0.49; P=0.028), and in standard-risk patients (4.2 versus 2.3 months; HR, 0.55; P<0.001). Although the majority of patients treated with high-dose dexamethasone took pomalidomide after discontinuation, the overall survival of patients treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone or highdose dexamethasone was 12.6 versus 7.7 months (HR, 0.45; P=0.008) in patients with del(17p), 7.5 versus 4.9 months (HR, 1.12; P=0.761) in those with t(4;14), and 14.0 versus 9.0 months (HR, 0.85; P=0.380) in standard-risk subjects. The overall response rate was higher in patients treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone than in those treated with high-dose dexamethasone both among standard-risk patients (35.2% versus 9.7%) and those with del(17p) (31.8% versus 4.3%), whereas it was similar in patients with t(4;14) (15.9% versus 13.3%). The safety of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was consistent with initial reports. In conclusion, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone is efficacious in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and del(17p) and/or t(4;14). This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01311687 and with EudraCT as 2010-019820-30. © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Terpos E, Kleber M, Engelhardt M, Zweegman S, Gay F, Kastritis E, Van De Donk NWCJ, Bruno B, Sezer O, Broij A, et al. European myeloma network guidelines for the management of multiple myeloma-related complications. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1254 - 1266. WebsiteAbstract
The European Myeloma Network provides recommendations for the management of the most common complications of multiple myeloma. Whole body low-dose computed tomography is more sensitive than conventional radiography in depicting osteolytic disease and thus we recommend it as the novel standard for the detection of lytic lesions in myeloma (grade 1A). Myeloma patients with adequate renal function and bone disease at diagnosis should be treated with zoledronic acid or pamidronate (grade 1A). Symptomatic patients without lytic lesions on conventional radiography can be treated with zoledronic acid (grade 1B), but its advantage is not clear for patients with no bone involvement on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. In asymptomatic myeloma, bisphosphonates are not recommended (grade 1A). Zoledronic acid should be given continuously, but it is not clear if patients who achieve at least a very good partial response benefit from its continuous use (grade 1B). Treatment with erythropoietic-stimulating agents may be initiated in patients with persistent symptomatic anemia (hemoglobin <10g/dL) in whom other causes of anemia have been excluded (grade 1B). Erythropoietic agents should be stopped after 6-8 weeks if no adequate hemoglobin response is achieved. For renal impairment, bortezomib-based regimens are the current standard of care (grade 1A). For the management of treatment-induced peripheral neuropathy, drug modification is needed (grade 1C). Vaccination against influenza is recommended; vaccination against streptococcus pneumonia and hemophilus influenza is appropriate, but efficacy is not guaranteed due to suboptimal immune response (grade 1C). Prophylactic aciclovir (or valacyclovir) is recommended for patients receiving proteasome inhibitors, autologous or allogeneic transplantation (grade 1A). © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Palumbo A, Avet-Loiseau H, Oliva S, Lokhorst HM, Goldschmidt H, Rosinol L, Richardson P, Caltagirone S, Lahuerta JJ, Facon T, et al. Revised international staging system for multiple myeloma: A report from international myeloma working group. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(26):2863 - 2869. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The clinical outcome of multiple myeloma (MM) is heterogeneous. A simple and reliable tool is needed to stratify patients with MM. We combined the International Staging System (ISS) with chromosomal abnormalities (CA) detected by interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization after CD138 plasma cell purification and serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to evaluate their prognostic value in newly diagnosed MM (NDMM). Patients and Methods: Clinical and laboratory data from 4,445 patients with NDMM enrolled onto 11 international trials were pooled together. The K-adaptive partitioning algorithm was used to define the most appropriate subgroups with homogeneous survival. Results: ISS, CA, and LDH data were simultaneously available in 3,060 of 4,445 patients. We defined the following three groups: revised ISS (R-ISS) I (n = 871), including ISS stage I (serum β2-microglobulin level < 3.5 mg/L and serum albumin level ≥ 3.5 g/dL), no high-risk CA [del(17p) and/or t(4;14) and/or t(14;16)], and normal LDH level (less than the upper limit of normal range); R-ISS III (n = 295), including ISS stage III (serum β2-microglobulin level > 5.5 mg/L) and high-risk CA or high LDH level; and R-ISS II (n = 1,894), including all the other possible combinations. At a median follow-up of 46 months, the 5-year OS rate was 82% in the R-ISS I, 62% in the R-ISS II, and 40% in the R-ISS III groups; the 5-year PFS rates were 55%, 36%, and 24%, respectively. Conclusion: The R-ISS is a simple and powerful prognostic staging system, and we recommend its use in future clinical studies to stratify patients with NDMM effectively with respect to the relative risk to their survival. © 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Lonial S, Dimopoulos M, Palumbo A, White D, Grosicki S, Spicka I, Walter-Croneck A, Moreau P, Mateos M-V, Magen H, et al. Elotuzumab therapy for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2015;373(7):621 - 631. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Elotuzumab, an immunostimulatory monoclonal antibody targeting signaling lymphocytic activation molecule F7 (SLAMF7), showed activity in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1b-2 study in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: In this phase 3 study, we randomly assigned patients to receive either elotuzumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (elotuzumab group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). Coprimary end points were progression-free survival and the overall response rate. Final results for the coprimary end points are reported on the basis of a planned interim analysis of progression-free survival. Results: Overall, 321 patients were assigned to the elotuzumab group and 325 to the control group. After a median follow-up of 24.5 months, the rate of progression-free survival at 1 year in the elotuzumab group was 68%, as compared with 57% in the control group; at 2 years, the rates were 41% and 27%, respectively. Median progression-free survival in the elotuzumab group was 19.4 months, versus 14.9 months in the control group (hazard ratio for progression or death in the elotuzumab group, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.85; P<0.001). The overall response rate in the elotuzumab group was 79%, versus 66% in the control group (P<0.001). Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the two groups were lymphocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue, and pneumonia. Infusion reactions occurred in 33 patients (10%) in the elotuzumab group and were grade 1 or 2 in 29 patients. Conclusions: Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who received a combination of elotuzumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone had a significant relative reduction of 30% in the risk of disease progression or death. Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Petrucci MT, Foà R, Catalano J, Kropff M, Terpos E, Zhang J, Grote L, Jacques C, Palumbo A. Impact of maintenance therapy on subsequent treatment in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: Use of “progression-free survival 2” as a clinical trial end-point. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(8):e328 - e330. Website
Richardson PG, Laubach JP, Lonial S, Moreau P, Yoon S-S, Hungria VT, Dimopoulos MA, Beksac M, Alsina M, San-Miguel JF. Panobinostat: A novel pan-deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy [Internet]. 2015;15(7):737 - 748. WebsiteAbstract
Outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved significantly over the past decade. Despite these advances, MM remains incurable and an unmet medical need remains for patients who are relapsed and/or refractory. Panobinostat is a potent, oral pan-deacetylase inhibitor that elicits anti-myeloma activity through epigenetic modulation of gene expression and disruption of protein metabolism. Preclinical data demonstrated that panobinostat has synergistic effects on myeloma cells when combined with bortezomib and dexamethasone. In a Phase III clinical trial evaluating bortezomib and dexamethasone in combination with panobinostat or placebo in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM (PANORAMA 1), panobinostat led to a significant increase in median progression-free survival. Panobinostat is currently under regulatory review with a recent accelerated approval granted for the treatment of relapsed disease, in which both bortezomib and immunomodulatory drugs have failed. Here, we summarize the preclinical, pharmacokinetic and clinical data for panobinostat in MM. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.
Mateos MV, Richardson PG, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Anderson KC, Shi H, Elliott J, Dow E, van de Velde H, Niculescu L, et al. Effect of cumulative bortezomib dose on survival in multiple myeloma patients receiving bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone in the phase III VISTA study. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(4):314 - 319. WebsiteAbstract
This analysis, using data from the bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) arm of the Phase III VISTA study, investigated whether increased cumulative bortezomib dose could improve overall survival (OS) in transplant-ineligible patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma. Median cumulative bortezomib dose received by the 340 patients was 39 mg/m2; this was selected as the cut-off for defining the dose groups to be compared for OS. Patient characteristics were well balanced between dose groups except for age. OS was significantly longer in the higher (≥39 mg/m2) versus lower (<39 mg/m2) cumulative bortezomib dose group (median 66.3 vs. 46.2 months; hazard ratio (HR) 0.533, P<0.0001; age-adjusted HR 0.561, P=0.0002). To overcome confounding effects of early discontinuations/deaths, which were more common in the lower cumulative dose group (27 vs. 4% of patients discontinued due to adverse events (AEs) in the lower and higher cumulative dose groups, respectively), a landmark analysis was conducted at 180 days, eliminating patients who died or discontinued before this time from the analysis. OS from this landmark remained significantly longer in the higher dose group (median 60.4 vs. 50.3 months; HR 0.709, P=0.0372). Thus, higher cumulative bortezomib dose, reflecting prolonged treatment duration and/or dose intensity, appears associated with improved OS. Approaches to achieve higher cumulative doses could include subcutaneous bortezomib administration, dose/schedule modifications, continuing therapy in responding patients, and proactive AE management. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Kastritis E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Kalapanida D, Pamboucas C, Kaldara E, Ntalianis A, Psimenou E, Toumanidis ST, et al. Long-term outcomes of primary systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis in patients treated upfront with bortezomib or lenalidomide and the importance of risk adapted strategies. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(4):E60 - E65. WebsiteAbstract
Bortezomib and lenalidomide are increasingly used in patients with AL amyloidosis, but long term data on their use as primary therapy in AL amyloidosis are lacking while early mortality remains significant. Thus, we analyzed the long term outcomes of 85 consecutive unselected patients, which received primary therapy with bortezomib or lenalidomide and we prospectively evaluated a risk adapted strategy based on bortezomib/dexamethasone to reduce early mortality. Twenty-six patients received full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone, 36 patients lenalidomide with oral cyclophosphamide and low-dose dexamethasone and 23 patients received bortezomib/dexamethasone at a dose and schedule adjusted to the risk of early death. On intent to treat, 67% of patients achieved a hematologic response (24% hemCRs) and 34% an organ response; both were more frequent with bortezomib. An early death occurred in 20%: in 36% of those treated with full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone, in 22% of lenalidomide-treated patients but only in 4.5% of patients treated with risk-adapted bortezomib/dexamethasone. Activity of full vs. adjusted dose bortezomib/dexamethasone was similar; twice weekly vs. weekly administration of bortezomib also had similar activity. After a median follow up of 57 months, median survival is 47 months and is similar for patients treated with bortezomib vs. lenalidomide-based regimens. However, risk adjusted-bortezomib/dexamethasone was associated with improved 1-year survival vs. full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone or lenalidomide-based therapy (81% vs. 56% vs. 53%, respectively). In conclusion, risk-adapted bortezomib/dexamethasone may reduce early mortality and preserve activity while long term follow up indicates that remissions obtained with lenalidomide or bortezomib may be durable, even without consolidation with alkylators. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Richardson PG, Palumbo A, Schey SA, Dimopoulos MA, Facon T, Weisel KC, O'Gorman P, Leleu X, Lacy MQ, Streetly MJ, et al. Pomalidomide - An appraisal of its clinical development and role in the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. European Oncology and Haematology [Internet]. 2015;11(2):109 - 117. WebsiteAbstract
Pomalidomide is a distinct immunomodulatory agent with significant activity in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). The optimal treatment schedule in patients with RRMM who have received multiple lines of treatment, including bortezomib and lenalidomide, is 4 mg/day on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle in combination with weekly low-dose dexamethasone. Improved responses and outcomes relative to traditional therapies continue to be confirmed in recently completed and ongoing trials. Pomalidomide exhibits direct tumoricidal, immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activities, which facilitate combination therapy with agents with complementary mechanisms of action, resulting in greater anti-myeloma effects than single-agent therapy or previous combination therapies. For example, in combination with proteasome inhibitors and traditional chemotherapeutic agents in doublet or triplet regimens, pomalidomide provides high rates of durable response, and represents an important new treatment option for patients with RRMM requiring effective new therapies. Additionally, pomalidomide maintains its efficacy and tolerability profile in difficult-to-treat patients, including the elderly, patients with poor cytogenetics and those with renal impairment. This review summarises the clinical development of pomalidomide and discusses this effective agent for the treatment of patients with RRMM in the context of current myeloma treatment options, as well as potential future directions to further improve patient outcomes.
Morgan G, Palumbo A, Dhanasiri S, Lee D, Weisel K, Facon T, Delforge M, Oriol A, Zaki M, Yu X, et al. Overall survival of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients after adjusting for crossover in the MM-003 trial for pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2015;168(6):820 - 823. WebsiteAbstract
Summary: In the phase III MM-003 trial, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM+LoDEX) improved overall survival (OS) versus high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX) in 455 patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) after treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide. Here, a two-stage Weibull method was used to adjust for the crossover of patients in the HiDEX arm to pomalidomide-based therapy. The adjusted difference in median OS between patients in the POM+LoDEX and HiDEX arms was 7·0 months (12·7 vs. 5·7 months, respectively). These findings provide important evidence for understanding the clinical efficacy of pomalidomide on OS benefits seen in RRMM patients. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Song KW, Dimopoulos MA, Weisel KC, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Belch A, Schey S, Sonneveld P, Sternas L, Yu X, et al. Health-RELATED quality of life from the MM-003 trial of pomalidomide plus LOW-Dose dexamethasone VERSUS HIGH-DOSE dexamethasone in relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(2):63 - 67. Website
Kastritis E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Morel P, Gavriatopoulou M, Hatjiharissi E, Symeonidis AS, Vassou A, Repousis P, Delimpasi S, Sioni A, et al. Competing risk survival analysis in patients with symptomatic waldenström macroglobulinemia: The impact of disease unrelated mortality and of rituximab-based primary therapy. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(11):e448 - e449. Website
San Miguel JF, Weisel KC, Song KW, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Moreau P, Banos A, Oriol A, Garderet L, et al. Impact of prior treatment and depth of response on survival in MM-003, a randomized phase 3 study comparing pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1334 - 1339. WebsiteAbstract
Pomalidomide is a distinct oral IMiD® immunomodulatory agent with direct antimyeloma, stromal-support inhibitory, and immunomodulatory effects. The pivotal, multicenter, open-label, randomized phase 3 trial MM-003 compared pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone vs high-dose dexamethasone in 455 patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma after failure of bortezomib and lenalidomide treatment. Initial results demonstrated significantly longer progression-free survival and overall survival with an acceptable tolerability profile for pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone vs high-dose dexamethasone. This secondary analysis describes patient outcomes by treatment history and depth of response. Pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone significantly prolonged progression-free survival and favored overall survival vs high-dose dexamethasone for all subgroups analyzed, regardless of prior treatments or refractory status. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that no variable relating to either the number (≤ or > 3) or type of prior treatment was a significant predictor of progression-free survival or overall survival. No cross-resistance with prior lenalidomide or thalidomide treatment was observed. Patients achieving a minimal response or better to pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone treatment experienced a survival benefit, which was even higher in those achieving at least a partial response (17.2 and 19.9 months, respectively, as compared with 7.5 months for patients with less than minimal response). These data suggest that pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone should be considered a standard of care in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma regardless of prior treatment. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01311687; EudraCT: 2010-019820-30. © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Appraising myc involvement in high risk myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(3):551 - 552. Website
Gertz MA, Terpos E, Dispenzieri A, Kumar S, Shah RA, Orlowski R, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Shah J. Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome/acute leukemia after multiple myeloma in the era of novel agents. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(6):1723 - 1726. WebsiteAbstract
Survival for patients with multiple myeloma has increased. Both melphalan and lenalidomide are associated with subsequent development of myelodysplasia. We reviewed the cases of all patients with multiple myeloma who had subsequent development of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) during a 12-year period in three centers. Of 55 patients identified, two received only lenalidomide before myelodysplasia developed. The median time between the diagnoses of multiple myeloma and MDS/ANLL was 52.7 months. Median survival after the diagnosis of MDS or ANLL was 6.7 months. Treatment of MDS comprised allogeneic stem cell transplant in eight patients (median survival, 219 days; one patient alive at 624 days) and a hypomethylating agent in 21 patients (response of stable or better in five patients). Myelodysplasia remains a devastating complication of therapy for multiple myeloma, with short survival and poor response rates to available modalities. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Niesvizky R, Palumbo A. Clinical characteristics of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma q. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2015;41(10):827 - 835. WebsiteAbstract
Although survival outcomes have improved over the last decade for patients with multiple myeloma (MM), few patients remain free of disease and most inevitably relapse. Selecting a treatment for patients with relapsed MM is challenging given the number and diversity of regimens patients may have previously received, which can affect subsequent therapeutic choices. Importantly, a number of patient- and disease-related factors can also have an effect on treatment choice, treatment efficacy, and tolerability; thus, an understanding of the heterogeneity of patients in the setting of relapsed MM is important for appropriate treatment selection. Here, we review select patient and disease characteristics reported in key interventional and observational studies in relapsed MM (including age, sex, race, and the presence of high-risk disease, renal impairment, or peripheral neuropathy at baseline) to examine common and disparate features of patients with relapsed MM. As therapeutic regimens can have varying efficacy and/or tolerability in patients depending on these factors, we also provide treatment recommendations for patients with select baseline characteristics. © 2015 The Authors.
Dimopoulos MA, Richardson PG, Moreau P, Anderson KC. Current treatment landscape for relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;12(1):42 - 54. WebsiteAbstract
Recent developments in the treatment of multiple myeloma have led to improvements in response rates and to increased survival; however, relapse is inevitable in almost all patients. Recurrence of myeloma is typically more aggressive with each relapse, leading to the development of treatment-refractory disease, which is associated with a shorter survival. Several phase II and III trials have demonstrated the efficacy of recently approved agents in the setting of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma, including immunomodulatory agents, such as lenalidomide and pomalidomide, and proteasome inhibitors, such as bortezomib and carfilzomib. Currently, however, there is no standard treatment for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. This Review discusses the current treatment landscape for patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma and highlights disease-related and patient-related factors - such as pre-existing comorbidities or toxicities - that are important considerations for clinicians when selecting an appropriate treatment regimen.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Fulvestrant and male breast cancer: a pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2015;149(1):269 - 275. WebsiteAbstract
Male breast cancer is an uncommon malignancy; little is known regarding hormonal manipulations for tamoxifen-resistant male breast cancer patients. This is the first pooled analysis of the literature to synthesize all available data and to evaluate the efficacy and safety of fulvestrant in male breast cancer. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the efficacy of fulvestrant in male breast cancer, regardless of sample size, were considered eligible. The search strategy retrieved 31 articles; of these, five articles were eligible (23 patients) for this pooled analysis. The mean age of the study sample was 63.1 years. Adjuvant hormonal treatment was administered in 87.5 % of cases. Fulvestrant was given as first or second line in 40 % of patients, while as third line or beyond in 60 % of patients. 79.0 % of patients at fulvestrant administration had visceral metastases. Regarding best response, in 26.1 % PR was achieved, in 47.8 % of cases SD was recorded, whereas in 26.1 % of patients PD was noted. The median PFS was equal to 5 months. No grade 3 and 4 adverse events were recorded; of note, hot flashes were reported in 18.2 % of male breast cancer patients. Fulvestrant may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy for male patients with breast cancer diagnosis. However, further clinical and pharmacokinetic investigations are more than warranted before fulvestrant use becomes a common practice in male breast cancer patients. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Siegel D, Palumbo A, San-Miguel J. Carfilzomib and pomalidomide in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma with baseline risk factors. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2015;26(11):2247 - 2256. WebsiteAbstract
While survival times have increased over the last decade, most patients with multiple myeloma (MM) eventually relapse and become refractory to therapy. The treatment of patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM is frequently further complicated by the presence of pre-existing comorbidities that arise from an advanced disease state and of toxicities stemming from prior antimyeloma treatment. Carfilzomib and pomalidomide have recently been approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory MM. While these agents represent important additions to the available treatment options, the identification of patients who may best benefit from the use of each of therapy is still being investigated. A number of patient-related and disease-related factors may impact treatment efficacy and/or tolerability, and the clinical presentation and medical history of each patient must be carefully considered to optimize treatment. Here, we review results from carfilzomib and pomalidomide clinical trials in patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM who also have baseline comorbidities or treatment-induced or disease-induced complications (including the presence of renal impairment, cardiac risk factors, peripheral neuropathy, or high-risk chromosomal abnormalities) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the two agents in these difficult-to-treat patients and to provide treatment recommendations specific to each scenario. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Zagouri F, Liakou P, Bartsch R, Peccatori FA, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Zografos GC, Dimopoulos M-A, Azim HA. Discrepancies between ESMO and NCCN breast cancer guidelines: An appraisal. Breast [Internet]. 2015;24(4):513 - 523. WebsiteAbstract
An ever growing number of medical organizations, societies, working groups and governmental agencies issue algorithms i.e. guidelines, of decision making flowcharts in diagnosis and treatment in a variety of diseases. In the field of evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, a large number of guidelines are available both from medical associations and national health departments. Among the most appreciated and utilized comprehensive guides is the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Guidelines and from the other side of the Atlantic the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines in Breast Cancer. Although there is much concordance between the guidelines from these two organizations, it is intriguing to locate their discrepancies also. The aim of this report is to present a number of different points between ESMO and NCCN in the whole spectrum of breast cancer management, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and follow up. This systematic review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines using a predefined search strategy and summarizes in detail, the differences between ESMO and NCCN guidelines regarding genetic risk evaluation and screening, surgery, chemotherapy, endocrine treatment, targeted biological agents, radiotherapy, pregnancy and fertility and follow-up. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Sergentanis TN, Zagouri F, Tsilimidos G, Tsagianni A, Tseliou M, Dimopoulos MA, Psaltopoulou T. Risk Factors for Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2015;15(10):563 - 577e3. WebsiteAbstract
The epidemiology of multiple myeloma (MM) is an increasingly investigated field, with many controversies. This systematic review aims to synthesize meta-analyses examining risk factors for MM so as to provide a comprehensive, parsimonious summary of the current evidence. Eligible meta-analyses were sought in PubMed adopting a predefined algorithm, without any restriction of publication language; end-of-search date was October 10, 2014. The selection of eligible studies and data extraction were performed by working in pairs, independently and blindly to each other; in case of disagreement, consensus with the whole team was reached. Among the 22 ultimately included meta-analyses, 9 examined occupational factors, 4 assessed aspects of lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, body mass index), 5 evaluated the presence of other diseases, and 4 addressed genetic factors as potential risk factors of MM. A vast compendium of significant associations arose, including farming, occupation as a firefighter, occupation as a hairdresser, exposures to chemicals or pesticides, overweight and obesity, patterns of alcohol intake, pernicious anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, gene promoter methylation, and polymorphisms. In conclusion, MM is a multifactorial disease, encompassing a wide variety of risk factors that span numerous life aspects. Further accumulation of evidence through meta-analyses is anticipated in this rapidly growing field. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Swern AS, Li JS, Hussein M, Weiss L, Nagarwala Y, Baz R. Response to letter, 'immortal time bias in retrospective analysis'. Blood cancer journal [Internet]. 2015;5:e327. Website
Orlowski RZ, Gercheva L, Williams C, Sutherland H, Robak T, Masszi T, Goranova-Marinova V, Dimopoulos MA, Cavenagh JD, Špička I, et al. A phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of siltuximab (anti-IL-6 mAb) and bortezomib versus bortezomib alone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(1):42 - 49. WebsiteAbstract
We compared the safety and efficacy of siltuximab (S), an anti-interleukin-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, plus bortezomib (B) with placebo (plc) + B in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in a randomized phase 2 study. Siltuximab was given by 6 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks. On progression, B was discontinued and high-dose dexamethasone could be added to S/plc. Response and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed pre-dexamethasone by European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) criteria. For the 281 randomized patients, median PFS for S + B and plc + B was 8.0 and 7.6 months (HR 0.869, P = 0.345), overall response rate was 55 versus 47% (P = 0.213), complete response rate was 11 versus 7%, and median overall survival (OS) was 30.8 versus 36.8 months (HR 1.353, P = 0.103). Sustained suppression of C-reactive protein, a marker reflective of inhibition of interleukin-6 activity, was seen with S + B. Siltuximab did not affect B pharmacokinetics. Siltuximab/placebo discontinuation (75 versus 66%), grade ≥3 neutropenia (49 versus 29%), thrombocytopenia (48 versus 34%), and all-grade infections (62 versus 49%) occurred more frequently with S + B. The addition of siltuximab to bortezomib did not appear to improve PFS or OS despite a numerical increase in response rate in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Azim, H.A. J, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Aromatase inhibitors in male breast cancer: a pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2015;151(1):141 - 147. WebsiteAbstract
Although several studies have shown the efficacy of third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in women with breast cancer, the role of such molecules remains elusive in male breast cancer patients. It is also unknown whether the addition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues to AIs would be a superior strategy or not. This pooled analysis was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the efficacy of AIs in metastatic male breast cancer were considered eligible. Overall, 15 studies (105 cases) were eligible for this pooled analysis. The mean age of the study sample was 62.8 years. ER status was positive in all eligible cases. AI was given as first line in 61.5 % of cases. GnRH analogue was co-administered with AI in 37.1 % of cases (n = 39). CR, PR, SD and PD were achieved in 5.7, 23.8, 37.2 and 33.3 % of cases, respectively. The median PFS and OS were equal to 10.0 and 39.0 months, respectively. Co-administration of GnRH analogues was associated with more than threefold increase in rates of clinical benefit (OR = 3.37, 95 % CI 1.30–8.73) but did not seem to correlate with better PFS or OS. No statistically significant associations between the examined outcomes and the other parameters were noted. Available data suggest that AIs may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy for metastatic male breast cancer patients. Especially, co-administration of AI with a GnRH analogue seems to increase the rate of clinical benefit and could be more effective, warranting further consideration. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Palumbo A, Bringhen S, Mateos M-V, Larocca A, Facon T, Kumar S, Offidani M, McCarthy P, Evangelista A, Lonial S, et al. Geriatric assessment predicts survival and toxicities in elderly myeloma patients: An International Myeloma Working Group report. Blood [Internet]. 2015;125(13):2068 - 2074. WebsiteAbstract
We conducted a pooled analysis of 869 individual newly diagnosed elderly patient data from 3 prospective trials. At diagnosis, a geriatric assessment had been performed. An additive scoring system (range 0-5), based on age, comorbidities, and cognitive and physical conditions, was developed to identify 3 groups: fit (score = 0, 39%), intermediate fitness (score = 1,31%), and frail (score ≥2, 30%). The 3-year overall survivalwas 84%in fit, 76% in intermediate-fitness (hazard ratio [HR], 1.61; P = .042), and 57% in frail (HR, 3.57; P < .001) patients. Thecumulative incidence of grade ≥3 nonhematologic adverse events at 12 months was 22.2%in fit, 26.4%in intermediate-fitness (HR, 1.23; P = .217), and 34.0%in frail (HR, 1.74; P < .001) patients. The cumulative incidence of treatment discontinuation at 12months was 16.5%in fit, 20.8%in intermediate-fitness (HR, 1.41; P = .052), and 31.2% in frail (HR, 2.21; P < .001) patients. Our frailty score predicts mortality and the risk of toxicity in elderly myeloma patients. The International Myeloma Working group proposes this score for the measurement of frailty in designing future clinical trials. These trials are registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01093136 (EMN01), #NCT01190787 (26866138MMY2069), and #NCT01346787 (IST-CAR-506).
Bakogeorgos M, Mountzios G, Bournakis E, Economopoulou P, Kotsantis G, Fytrakis N, Kouvatseas G, Dimopoulos M-A, Kentepozidis N. Do elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer get the best out of recent advances in first-line treatment? A comparative study in two tertiary cancer centers in Greece. Journal of Geriatric Oncology [Internet]. 2015;6(2):111 - 118. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are thought to receive suboptimal treatment mainly due to concerns for poor compliance and/or excessive toxicity. Patients and Methods: Using the age of 70. years as the pre-defined cut-off, we compared elderly patients with advanced NSCLC suitable for first line chemotherapy with their younger counterparts in terms of: i) diagnosis and disease characteristics ii) adherence to treatment schedule, including dose intensity (DI), and relative dose intensity (RDI), iii) toxicity, tolerance, and efficacy outcomes. Results: Among 292 eligible patients, data were available for 245, of whom 107 (43.7%) belonged to the elderly group. This group was more likely to present with co-morbidities, non-smoking current status and diagnosis based on cytology alone. As compared to the non-elderly, elderly patients were more likely to receive single-agent therapy (8.0% vs. 29.2% respectively, p<. 0.001) and less likely to receive platinum-based chemotherapy (80.3% vs. 57.9%, p<. 0.001). Elderly patients also received docetaxel (24.3% vs. 40.4%), and bevacizumab (7.5% vs. 21.3%) significantly less often and received oral vinorelbine (24.3% vs. 11.8%) more frequently. Non-elderly patients were more likely to receive any of the cytotoxic drugs with RDI. >. 0.8 (49.6% vs. 33.0%, p=. 0.012) and RDI. >. 0.9 (29.6% vs. 16%, p=. 0.015). Substantial toxicity, as well as median overall survival did not differ significantly between the two groups. Conclusions: Only one third of the elderly patients received at least 80% of the scheduled treatment intensity. Nearly half received diagnosis based on cytology alone, which may deprive them from new, histology-driven, therapeutic approaches. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Hillengass J, Usmani S, Zamagni E, Lentzsch S, Davies FE, Raje N, Sezer O, Zweegman S, Shah J, et al. Role of magnetic resonance imaging in the management of patients with multiple myeloma: A consensus statement. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(6):657 - 664. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The aim of International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practical recommendations for the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in multiple myeloma (MM). Methods: An interdisciplinary panel of clinical experts on MM and myeloma bone disease developed recommendations for the value of MRI based on data published through March 2014. Recommendations: MRI has high sensitivity for the early detection of marrow infiltration by myeloma cells compared with other radiographic methods. Thus, MRI detects bone involvement in patients with myeloma much earlier than the myeloma-related bone destruction, with no radiation exposure. It is the gold standard for the imaging of axial skeleton, for the evaluation of painful lesions, and for distinguishing benign versus malignant osteoporotic vertebral fractures. MRI has the ability to detect spinal cord or nerve compression and presence of soft tissue masses, and it is recommended for the workup of solitary bone plasmacytoma. Regarding smoldering or asymptomatic myeloma, all patients should undergo whole-body MRI (WB-MRI; or spine and pelvic MRI if WB-MRI is not available), and if they have > one focal lesion of a diameter > 5 mm, they should be considered to have symptomatic disease that requires therapy. In cases of equivocal small lesions, a second MRI should be performed after 3 to 6 months, and if there is progression on MRI, the patient should be treated as having symptomatic myeloma. MRI at diagnosis of symptomatic patients and after treatment (mainly after autologous stem-cell transplantation) provides prognostic information; however, to date, this does not change treatment selection. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Stefanou DT, Bamias A, Episkopou H, Kyrtopoulos SA, Likka M, Kalampokas T, Photiou S, Gavalas N, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos MA, et al. Aberrant dna damage response pathways may predict the outcome of platinum chemotherapy in ovarian cancer. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2015;10(2). WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian carcinoma (OC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. Despite the advances in the treatment of OC with combinatorial regimens, including surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, patients generally exhibit poor prognosis due to high chemotherapy resistance. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that DNA damage response (DDR) pathways are involved in resistance of OC patients to platinum chemotherapy. Selected DDR signals were evaluated in two human ovarian carcinoma cell lines, one sensitive (A2780) and one resistant (A2780/C30) to platinum treatment as well as in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from OC patients, sensitive (n = 7) or resistant (n = 4) to subsequent chemotherapy. PBMCs from healthy volunteers (n = 9) were studied in parallel. DNA damage was evaluated by immunofluorescence ãH2AX staining and comet assay. Higher levels of intrinsic DNA damage were found in A2780 than in A2780/C30 cells. Moreover, the intrinsic DNA damage levels were significantly higher in OC patients relative to healthy volunteers, as well as in platinum-sensitive patients relative to platinum-resistant ones (all P <0.05). Following carboplatin treatment, A2780 cells showed lower DNA repair efficiency than A2780/ C30 cells. Also, following carboplatin treatment of PBMCs ex vivo , the DNA repair efficiency was significantly higher in healthy volunteers than in platinum-resistant patients and lowest in platinum-sensitive ones (t1/2 for loss of ãH2AX foci: 2.7± 0.5h, 8.8±1.9h and 15.4±3.2h, respectively; using comet assay, t1/2 of platinum-induced damage repair: 4.8±1.4h, 12.9±1.9h and 21.4±2.6h, respectively; all P<0.03). Additionally, the carboplatin-induced apoptosis rate was higher in A2780 than in A2780/C30 cells. In PBMCs, apoptosis rates were inversely correlated with DNA repair efficiencies of these cells, being significantly higher in plati-num-sensitive than in platinum-resistant patients and lowest in healthy volunteers (all P< 0.05). We conclude that perturbations of DNA repair pathways as measured in PBMCs from OC patients correlate with the drug sensitivity of these cells and reflect the individualized response to platinum-based chemotherapy. © 2015 Stefanou et al.
Andersen JP, Bøgsted M, Dybkær K, Mellqvist U-H, Morgan GJ, Goldschmidt H, Dimopoulos MA, Einsele H, San Miguel J, Palumbo A, et al. Global myeloma research clusters, output, and citations: A bibliometric mapping and clustering analysis. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2015;10(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: International collaborative research is a mechanism for improving the development of dis-ease- specific therapies and for improving health at the population level. However, limited data are available to assess the trends in research output related to orphan diseases. Methods and Findings: We used bibliometric mapping and clustering methods to illustrate the level of fragmentation in myeloma research and the development of collaborative efforts. Publication data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science were retrieved for 2005-2009 and followed until 2013. We created a database of multiple myeloma publications, and we analysed impact and coauthorship density to identify scientific collaborations, developments, and international key players over time. The global annual publication volume for studies on multiple myeloma increased from 1,144 in 2005 to 1,628 in 2009, which represents a 43% increase. This increase is high compared to the 24% and 14% increases observed for lymphoma and leukaemia. The major proportion (>90% of publications) was from the US and EU over the study period. The output and impact in terms of citations, identified several successful groups with a large number of intra-cluster collaborations in the US and EU. The US-based myeloma clusters clearly stand out as the most productive and highly cited, and the European Myeloma Network members exhibited a doubling of collaborative publications from 2005 to 2009, still increasing up to 2013. Conclusion and Perspective: Multiple myeloma research output has increased substantially in the past decade. The fragmented European myeloma research activities based on national or regional groups are progressing, but they require a broad range of targeted research investments to improve multiple myeloma health care. © 2015 Andersen et al.
Stewart AK, Rajkumar SV, Dimopoulos MA, Masszi T, Špicka I, Oriol A, Hajek R, Rosinol L, Siegel DS, Mihaylov GG, et al. Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone for relapsed multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2015;372(2):142 - 152. WebsiteAbstract
Background Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a reference treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma. The combination of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has shown efficacy in a phase 1 and 2 study in relapsed multiple myeloma. Methods We randomly assigned 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma to carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (carfilzomib group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results Progression-free survival was significantly improved with carfilzomib (median, 26.3 months, vs. 17.6 months in the control group; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.83; P = 0.0001). The median overall survival was not reached in either group at the interim analysis. The Kaplan-Meier 24-month overall survival rates were 73.3% and 65.0% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio for death, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.99; P = 0.04). The rates of overall response (partial response or better) were 87.1% and 66.7% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (P<0.001; 31.8% and 9.3% of patients in the respective groups had a complete response or better; 14.1% and 4.3% had a stringent complete response). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 83.7% and 80.7% of patients in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively; 15.3% and 17.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse events. Patients in the carfilzomib group reported superior health-related quality of life. Conclusions In patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone resulted in significantly improved progression-free survival at the interim analysis and had a favorable risk-benefit profile. (Funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01080391.) Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Sergentanis IN, Karadimitris A, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Alcohol intake, alcoholic beverage type and multiple myeloma risk: A meta-analysis of 26 observational studies. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(5):1484 - 1501. WebsiteAbstract
This meta-analysis aimed to examine the association between alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma (MM) risk. Eligible publications were sought in PubMed to 31 December 2013. Separate analyses were performed by study design, gender, alcoholic beverages and levels of consumption. Sixteen case-control studies (3921 cases and 19 594 controls) and 10 cohort studies (3167 incident cases in total cohort of 2 557 649 subjects) were eligible. Ever consumption of alcohol was associated with reduced MM risk (pooled relative risk [RR] = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.99) and especially consumption of wine correlated with reduced MM risk (pooled RR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67-0.89 for ever drinkers). MM risk was not affected by beer or liquor intake. A protective association was observed among females (pooled RR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.69-0.89 for ever drinkers), whereas the association among males seemed null. In conclusion, contrary to most solid tumors, alcohol intake may confer protection in terms of MM risk among females, with wine being particularly beneficial. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Reply to D.L. Cooper. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(26):2926 - 2927. Website
Nooka AK, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Lonial S. Treatment options for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2015;125(20):3085 - 3099. WebsiteAbstract
Over the last few decades, significant improvement in outcomes has been observed for myeloma patients, mainly as a result of the use of currently available approved antimyeloma agents, along with combining autologous stem cell transplantation in the treatment of myeloma. With more targeted agents in development, the treatment of a myeloma patient at relapse has become complicated and, as a consequence, results in vast heterogeneity in treatment patterns. Although a consensus on the timing of initiation of treatment, the choice of agents to be used, and the role of transplant is less clear, we describe an evidence-based approach and the factors to consider upon relapse. We describe additional newer agents and targets that are under development, with the goal of achievement of durable remissions for myeloma patients. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Delimpasis S, Symeonidis AS, Repousis P, Kyrtsonis M-C, Vadikolia C, Michalis E, Polychronidou G, et al. Lack of survival improvement with novel anti-myeloma agents for patients with multiple myeloma and central nervous system involvement: the Greek Myeloma Study Group experience. Annals of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;94(12):2033 - 2042. WebsiteAbstract
Involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) is a rare complication of multiple myeloma (MM). Herein, we have described the incidence, characteristics, prognostic factors for post CNS-MM survival, and outcome of CNS-MM and explored the efficacy of novel agents (NA) (thalidomide, bortezomib, lenalidomide) in this setting. Between 2000 and 2013, 31 (0.9 %) out of 3408 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM patients, consecutively diagnosed and treated during the same period in 12 Greek centers, developed CNS-MM (M/F 15/16, median age 59 years, range 20–96 years; newly diagnosed/relapsed-refractory 2/29; median time to CNS-MM diagnosis 29 months). Clinical and laboratory characteristics were retrospectively recorded. Twenty-six percent of patients had circulating plasma cells (PCs) or plasma cell leukemia (PCL) at CNS-MM and 39 % had skull-derived plasmacytomas, suggesting hematological and contiguous spread. Treatment for CNS-MM was offered in 29/31 patients and 11/29 responded (NA 18/29, additional radiotherapy 9/28, intrathecal chemotherapy 13/29). The median post CNS-MM survival was 3 months (95 % CI 1.9–4.1) and did not differ between patients treated with NA and/or radiotherapy vs. others. In the multivariate analysis, prior treatment of MM with NA, extramedullary disease (EMD) during MM course (i.e., plasmacytomas, circulating PCs, or documented PCL) and abnormally high LDH at MM diagnosis were independent prognostic factors, whereas treatment of CNS-MM with NA did not predict for post CNS-MM survival. Despite the relatively limited number of patients due to the rarity of CNS-MM, our results suggest that NA do not seem to improve post CNS-MM survival. Patients with EMD display shortened post CNS-MM survival and should be followed thoroughly. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Palumbo A, Gay F, Cavallo F, Raimondo FD, Larocca A, Hardan I, Nagler A, Petrucci MT, Hajek R, Pezzatti S, et al. Continuous therapy versus fixed duration of therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(30):3459 - 3466. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Continuous therapy (CT) prolongs progression-free survival 1 (PFS1; time from random assignment until the first progression or death), but chemotherapy-resistant relapse may negatively impact overall survival (OS). Progression-free survival 2 (PFS2; time from random assignment until the second progression or death) may represent an additional tool to estimate outcome. This study evaluates the benefit of novel agent-based CT versus fixed duration of therapy (FDT) in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. Methods: We included patients enrolled onto three phase III trials that randomly assigned patients to novel agent-based CT versus FDT. Primary analyses were restricted to the intent-to-treat population eligible for CT (patients progression free and alive at 1 year after random assignment). Primary end points were PFS1, PFS2, and OS. All hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were adjusted for several potential confounders using Cox models. Results: In the pooled analysis of the three trials, 604 patients were randomly assigned to CT and 614 were assigned to FDT. Median follow-up was 52 months. In the intent-to-treat CT population, CT (n = 417), compared with FDT (n = 410), significantly improved PFS1 (median, 32 v 16 months, respectively; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56; P < .001), PFS2 (median, 55 v 40 months, respectively; HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.75; P < .001), and OS (4-year OS, 69% v 60%, respectively; HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.88; P = .003). Conclusion: In this pooled analysis, CT significantly improved PFS1, PFS2, and OS. The improvement in PFS2 suggests that the benefit reported during first remission is not cancelled by a shorter second remission. PFS2 is a valuable end point to estimate long-term clinical benefit and should be included in future trials. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Kyrtsonis M-C, Roussou M, Hadjiharissi E, Symeonidis A, Repoussis P, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Tsatalas K, et al. Dexamethasone, rituximab, and cyclophosphamide as primary treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia: Final analysis of a phase 2 study. Blood [Internet]. 2015;126(11):1392 - 1394. Website
Liapis K, Kastritis E, Bagratouni T, Vassiliou S, Papachristidis A, Charitaki E, Alevizopoulos N, Harhalakis N, Terpos E, Delimpasi S, et al. Early tumor-cell gene expression changes may predict the response to first-line bortezomib-based therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Journal of B.U.ON. [Internet]. 2015;20(5):1314 - 1321. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Maximizing the response rate to first-line therapy in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is important because it leads to improved outcome. Gene-expression studies have identified prognostic gene sets in patients receiving bortezomib-based therapy. Comparison of the lists of genes derived from two gene-expression-based models (GEP70, GEP80) showed that they overlap in three genes, namely PSMD4, BIRC5, and KIAA1754. An unanswered question is whether early gene-expression changes can be used as predictors of the response to first-line bortezomib. In this study we aimed to examine the predictive value of gene expression changes for the depth of response after bortezomib-based therapy in newly diagnosed MM. Methods: We prospectively assessed the relation between early PSMD4, BIRC5, and KIAA1754 gene expression changes (before therapy and one week later) and the response rate after bortezomib-based therapy in 25 patients with newly diagnosed MM. Gene expression was studied by RT-PCR on CD138-selected plasma cells, and changes were recorded as upregulation, downregulation, or unchanged. Results: Whereas baseline prognostic factors including genetic lesions and stage were not predictive of the response rate, we found that early BIRC5 and KIAA1754 gene-expression changes were significantly associated with the depth of response to bortezomib (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). PSMD4 was not predictive of the depth of response. KIAA1754 upregulation was linked to complete remission (CR) or very good partial remission (VGPR). BIRC5 upregulation was linked to stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD). We also observed that BIRC5 upregulation was associated with worse progression-free survival (PFS). Conclusions: Our results suggest that BIRC5 and KIAA1754 gene-expression changes may predict the response to bortezomib-based therapy. These data may have relevance for the stratification and early adaptation of first-line treatment in patients with newly diagnosed MM.
Weisel K, Dimopoulos M, Song KW, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Belch A, Schey S, Sonneveld P, Sternas L, Yu X, et al. Pomalidomide and Low-Dose Dexamethasone Improves Health-Related Quality of Life and Prolongs Time to Worsening in Relapsed/Refractory Patients With Multiple Myeloma Enrolled in the MM-003 Randomized Phase III Trial. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2015;15(9):519 - 530. WebsiteAbstract
Background Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important element for consideration in treatment decisions in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). The pivotal MM-003 (A Phase 3, Multicenter, Randomized, Open-Label Study to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Pomalidomide in Combination With Low-Dose Dexamethasone vs. High-Dose Dexamethasone in Patients With Refractory Multiple Myeloma or Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma and Companion Study [NIMBUS]) randomized, open-label, multicenter, phase III trial demonstrated improved progression-free survival (PFS) and prolonged overall survival (OS) with pomalidomide (POM) plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) versus high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX) in patients with RRMM in whom lenalidomide (LEN) and bortezomib (BORT) had failed. MM-003 also investigated HRQoL as a predefined secondary end point. Patients and Methods Recruited patients (n = 455) were refractory to their last treatment and had failed LEN and BORT after ≥ 2 consecutive cycles of each (alone or in combination). Eight clinically relevant and validated HRQoL domains from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-MY20, and EQ-5D questionnaires were selected for analysis. Time to symptom worsening based on minimally important differences (MIDs) was calculated. Results Clinically meaningful improvements in HRQoL as determined by MIDs, regression analyses, and best response analyses were observed more frequently in patients receiving POM + LoDEX than in those receiving HiDEX. POM + LoDEX significantly extended median time to clinically meaningful worsening in HRQoL versus HiDEX in 4 HRQoL domains and demonstrated a trend in an additional 3 domains. Patients in the HiDEX arm experienced earlier HRQoL deterioration compared with those in the POM + LoDEX arm in each domain analyzed. Conclusion POM + LoDEX offer good clinical outcomes that lead to improved and prolonged HRQoL compared with HiDEX in patients with RRMM and end-stage disease. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Epothilones in epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer: A systematic review. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2015;8:2187 - 2198. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy; consequently, there is a need for effective therapies. Epothilones are microtubule-stabilizing agents that inhibit cell growth. Currently, patupilone and its four synthetic derivatives ixabepilone, BMS-310705, sagopilone, 20-desmethyl-20-methylsulfanyl epothilone B and epothilone D, as well as its derivative KOS-1584, are under clinical evaluation. This is the first systematic review conducted in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses) guidelines that synthesizes all available data emerging from trials and evaluates the efficacy and safety of epothilones in epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. Despite the fact that epothilones have proven active in taxane-resistant settings in preclinical models, it is not yet clear from Phase II/III studies reviewed here that their clinical activity is superior to that of taxanes. Nevertheless, responses to epothilones have been observed in platinum-refractory/resistant ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, despite the shared mechanism of action of epothilones, their clinical profile seems clearly different, with diarrhea being the most common dose-limiting toxicity encountered with patupilone, whereas neutropenia and sensory neuropathy are the most common toxic effects observed with the other epothilones. In any case, randomized trials comparing epothilones with standard treatments seem warranted to define further the role of these agents, whereas biomarker analysis might further optimize patient selection. © 2015 Zagouri et al.
Zagouri F, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos M-A. An update on the use of lenalidomide for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2015;16(12):1865 - 1877. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Lenalidomide, an immunomodulatory agent with unique mechanism of action, represents the cornerstone in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) providing rapid and sustained control of the disease with a manageable safety profile.Areas covered: This review article, synthesizing all available data coming from trials and evaluating the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in patients with MM, tries to provide to the clinicians with an easy-to-grasp synopsis of recent and clinically meaningful advances on the field.Expert opinion: Lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone is a safe and effective option for newly diagnosed MM patients ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Long-term administration of the agent as continuous treatment for ineligible for ASCT patients or maintenance therapy after ASCT has documented unprecedented progression-free survival improvements, whereas lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone has shown deep and durable remissions for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.
Giannos A, Filipits M, Zagouri F, Brandstetter A, Tsigginou A, Sotiropoulou M, Papaspyrou I, Sergentanis TN, Psaltopoulou T, Rodolakis A, et al. Expression of ARs in triple negative breast cancer tumors: A potential prognostic factor?. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2015;8:1843 - 1847. WebsiteAbstract
Background/aim: In light of the controversial published literature, this study aims to examine the potential prognostic role of AR immunohistochemical expression in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Patients and methods: Ninety patients with TNBC were included in this study; the associations between AR expression (Allred score), clinicopathological variables (stage, grade, histological subtype, tumor size, nodal status, age at diagnosis, Ki67 expression, and p53 expression), and overall survival were evaluated. Results: AR expression was not associated with stage, grade, histological subtype, tumor size, nodal status, age at diagnosis, Ki67 expression, and p53 expression. AR immunopositivity was not associated with overall survival either at the univariate or at the multivariate Cox regression analysis (multivariate hazard ratio =0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.26–1.70, P=0.393). Conclusion: AR expression does not seem to play a prognostic role in TNBC. © 2015 Giannos et al.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Dimopoulos MA, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Roussou M, Pamboucas C, Toumanidis ST, Terpos E. Osteoprotegerin is a significant prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis independent of the Mayo staging. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2015;5. WebsiteAbstract
Bone metabolism has not been systematically studied in primary (AL) amyloidosis. Thus we prospectively evaluated bone remodeling indices in 102 patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis, 35 healthy controls, 35 newly diagnosed myeloma and 40 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of type-1 collagen, N-telopeptide of type-1 collagen) and osteoclast regulators (soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (sRANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG)) were increased in AL patients compared with controls (P<0.01), but bone formation was unaffected. Myeloma patients had increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation compared with AL patients, while sRANKL/OPG ratio was markedly decreased in AL, due to elevated OPG in AL (P<0.001). OPG correlated with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.001) and was higher in patients with cardiac involvement (P=0.028) and advanced Mayo stage (P=0.001). OPG levels above the upper value of healthy controls was associated with shorter survival (34 versus 91 months; P=0.026), while AL patients with OPG levels in the top quartile had very short survival (12 versus 58 months; P=0.024). In Mayo stage 1 disease, OPG identified patients with poor survival (12 versus >60 months; P=0.012). We conclude that increased OPG in AL is not only a compensation to osteoclast activation but may also reflect early cardiac damage and may identify patients at increased risk of death within those with earlier Mayo stage.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Dimopoulos MA, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Roussou M, Pamboucas C, Toumanidis ST, Terpos E. Osteoprotegerin is a significant prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis independent of the Mayo staging. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2015;5(6). WebsiteAbstract
Bone metabolism has not been systematically studied in primary (AL) amyloidosis. Thus we prospectively evaluated bone remodeling indices in 102 patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis, 35 healthy controls, 35 newly diagnosed myeloma and 40 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of type-1 collagen, N-telopeptide of type-1 collagen) and osteoclast regulators (soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (sRANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG)) were increased in AL patients compared with controls (P<0.01), but bone formation was unaffected. Myeloma patients had increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation compared with AL patients, while sRANKL/OPG ratio was markedly decreased in AL, due to elevated OPG in AL (P<0.001). OPG correlated with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.001) and was higher in patients with cardiac involvement (P = 0.028) and advanced Mayo stage (P = 0.001). OPG levels above the upper value of healthy controls was associated with shorter survival (34 versus 91 months; P = 0.026), while AL patients with OPG levels in the top quartile had very short survival (12 versus 58 months; P = 0.024). In Mayo stage 1 disease, OPG identified patients with poor survival (12 versus 460 months; P = 0.012). We conclude that increased OPG in AL is not only a compensation to osteoclast activation but may also reflect early cardiac damage and may identify patients at increased risk of death within those with earlier Mayo stage.
Kourlaba G, Dimopoulos MA, Pectasides D, Skarlos DV, Gogas H, Pentheroudakis G, Koutras A, Fountzilas G, Maniadakis N. Comparison of filgrastim and pegfilgrastim to prevent neutropenia and maintain dose intensity of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer [Internet]. 2015;23(7):2045 - 2051. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of prophylactic single fixed dose of pegfilgrastim and daily administration of filgrastim on febrile neutropenia (FN), severe neutropenia, treatment delay, and dose reduction in patients with breast cancer receiving dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: A retrospective cohort study with 1058 breast cancer patients matched by age and chemotherapy was conducted. The primary endpoints were FN, severe (grade 3, 4) neutropenia, dose reduction (>10 % reduction of the dose planned), and treatment delay (dose given more than 2 days later). Results: Eighteen episodes of FN (3.4 %) in the filgrastim group and 23 (4.3 %) in the pegfilgrastim group (p = 0.500) were recorded. More than half of the total episodes (27/41) occurred during the first 4 cycles of treatment. Patients who received filgrastim were almost three times more likely to experience a severe neutropenia episode and were significantly more likely to experience a dose reduction (18.5 %) compared to those who received pegfilgrastim (10.8 %) (p < 0.001). The percentage of patients, who received their planned dose on time, was significantly lower in patients receiving filgrastim (58 %) compared to those receiving pegfilgrastim (72.4 %, p < 0.001). Conclusions: No significant difference was detected on FN rate between daily administration of filgrastim and single administration of pegfilgrastim. However, patients receiving pegfilgrastim had a significantly lower rate of severe neutropenia, as well as dose reduction and treatment delay, thus, achieving a higher dose density. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.