In addition to conventional chemotherapeutic regimens and autologous transplantation, novel agents are now part of the treatment armamentarium against multiple myeloma (MM). To evaluate the presumed benefit of novel agents, we performed an analysis of patients with MM at our institution before and after the availability of novel agents.
Design and methods
In all, 200 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed MM (male = 119; female = 81; median age: 61.5 years) treated at our institution between June 1993 and December 2008 were included in this retrospective analysis. Patient cohorts were defined according to date of diagnosis (before and after 01-Jan-2000, respectively), treatment received (chemotherapy only vs. therapy including novel agents), risk profile (International Staging System (ISS)-stage), and cytogenetic features. Primary focus of the analysis was overall survival (OS).
Median OS for MM patients who received conventional chemotherapy was 45.2 months and for patients who received novel agents 74.6 months (P < 0.01). OS for those patients who relapsed after autotransplantation before 2000 was 35.2 months, but 72.7 months (P < 0.01) for those patients with a later relapse. Prolongation of survival for patients receiving novel agents was most evident for patients with ISS stage III (median OS 68.4 vs. 11.2 months for patients with chemotherapy only; P < 0.01). MM patients with an intermediate risk had a longer median OS when receiving novel agents (47.2 vs. 32.8 months).
Treatment with novel agents in MM resulted in a significant prolongation of OS. Benefit of therapy with novel agents was particularly evident for transplant-eligible patients and MM patients with unfavorable prognosis.