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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2013 Jul;48(7):966-71. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2012.257. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

In a high-dose melphalan setting, palifermin compared with placebo had no effect on oral mucositis or related patient's burden.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This randomized-controlled trial studied the efficacy of palifermin in a chemotherapy-only, high-dose Melphalan (HDM) transplant setting, to reduce oral mucositis (OM) and its sequelae measured by patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and medical resource use. Palifermin, relative to placebo was given either pre-/post-HDM or pre-HDM in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) undergoing auto-SCT at 39 European centers. Oral cavity assessment (WHO) and PRO questionnaires (oral mucositis daily questionnaire (OMDQ) and EQ 5D) were used in 281 patients (mean age 56, ± s.d.=8 years). 57 patients received placebo. One hundred and fifteen subjects were randomized to pre-/post-HDM receiving palifermin on 3 consecutive days before HDM and after auto-SCT and 109 patients were randomized to pre-HDM, receiving palifermin (60 μg/kg/day) i.v. for 3 consecutive days before HDM. There was no statistically significant difference in maximum OM severity. Severe OM occurred in 37% (placebo), 38% (pre-/post-HDM) and 24% (pre-HDM) of patients. No significant difference was observed with respect to PRO assessments or medical resource use, but more infections and fever during neutropenia were reported in pre-/post-HDM vs placebo (for example, 51 and 26%). To conclude, palifermin was unable to reduce OM or OM-related patient's burden in MM transplant patients.

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