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Haematologica. 2006 Apr;91(4):542-5.

Dose-finding study of high-dose simvastatin combined with standard chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma or lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Hematology and Immunology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In vitro statins induce apoptosis in myeloma and lymphoma cells in a dose-and time-dependent way. In combination with dexamethasone and doxorubicin, statins have a chemo-sensitizing effect. Twenty-eight patients with relapsed myeloma or lymphoma were treated with a dose-escalating regimen of simvastatin for 7 days followed by VAD in myeloma patients and CHOP in lymphoma patients. The maximum tolerated dose was 15 mg/kg/day simvastatin. The most frequently reported side-effects were fatigue, gastrointestinal CTC grade 1-2 and neutropenic fever. The dose-limiting toxicity was neutropenic sepsis and grade 3 gastrointestinal side effects. High-dose simvastatin given immediately prior to chemotherapy is safe and tolerable up to a dose of 15 mg/kg/day.

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