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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Mar 15;13(6):1762-8.

A phase I/II study of arsenic trioxide/bortezomib/ascorbic acid combination therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research and Oncotherapeutics Inc, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA. jberenson@imbcr.org



This multicenter, open-label, phase I/II dose escalation study assessed the safety/tolerability and initial efficacy of arsenic trioxide/bortezomib/ascorbic acid (ABC) combination therapy in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.


Enrolled in six cohorts, patients were given arsenic trioxide (0.125 or 0.250 mg/kg), bortezomib (0.7, 1.0, or 1.3 mg/m(2)), and a fixed dose of ascorbic acid (1 g) i.v. on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 of a 21-day cycle for a maximum of eight cycles. The primary end point was safety/tolerability of the ABC regimen.


Twenty-two patients (median age, 63 years) were enrolled, having failed a median of 4 (range, 3-9) prior therapies. One occurrence of grade 4 thrombocytopenia was observed. One patient had asymptomatic arrhythmia and withdrew from the study. Objective responses were observed in 6 (27%) patients, including two partial responses and four minor responses. Median progression-free survival was 5 months (95% confidence interval, 2-9 months), and median overall survival had not been reached. The 12-month progression-free survival and overall survival rates were 34% and 74%, respectively. One (minor response) of six patients receiving the lowest dose of bortezomib (0.7 mg/m(2)) and 5 (2 partial responses and 3 minor responses) of 16 patients receiving the higher doses (1.0 or 1.3 mg/m(2)) responded.


The ABC regimen was well tolerated by most patients, and it produced preliminary signs of efficacy with an objective response rate of 27% in this heavily pretreated study population. These findings warrant further clinical evaluation of the ABC combination for treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

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