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J Clin Oncol. 1992 Nov;10(11):1769-74.

Consolidation hemibody radiotherapy following induction combination chemotherapy in high-tumor-burden multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California, Davis, Sacramento 95817.



Curative therapy for multiple myeloma continues to be an elusive goal. This report discusses the Northern California Oncology Group (NCOG) phase I and II trial in high-tumor-burden disease that used a strategy that consisted of induction chemotherapy (vincristine, melphalan, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone [VMCP]) for eight cycles followed by sequential hemibody radiation therapy (RT) and subsequent chemotherapy for an additional eight cycles.


Seventy-two previously untreated stage III myeloma patients were entered onto the study. Sixty-nine received induction chemotherapy, 40 received induction chemotherapy and hemibody RT, and 23 received induction chemotherapy, hemibody RT, and consolidative chemotherapy.


Twenty-two complete responses (CRs) were obtained by induction chemotherapy, with four additional CRs after RT and consolidative chemotherapy. Nineteen patients developed grade 4 hematologic toxicity primarily after upper hemibody RT. Eight of these developed long-standing neutropenia or thrombocytopenia. Median survival of the group was 134 weeks, which was not significantly different from other approaches.


Hemibody RT can be combined with chemotherapy as induction therapy and can be safely administered in a community setting. However, as administered here no survival advantage was demonstrated.

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