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Clin Ther. 2006 Jun;28(6):953-9.

Bortezomib-dexamethasone combination in a patient with refractory multiple myeloma and impaired renal function.

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Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Milan, Italy.



Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematologic neoplasia characterized by the monoclonal proliferation of bone marrow plasma cells. Renal failure occurs in 20% to 30% of MM patients at diagnosis and in >50% with an advanced form of the disease. For those with advanced MM, often a high-risk group of patients with poor prognosis, salvage treatment for renal failure needs to avoid nephrotoxic drugs.


We report a case of a 78-year-old white male (weight, 90 kg) presented to the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano, Milan, Italy, with refractory MM immunoglobulin G kappa (IgGkappa), Durie-Salmon Stage IIA, with progressive renal failure after an oral melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide regimen (4 mg/m2.d, 40 mg/m2.d for 7 days every 6 weeks, and 100 mg/d, respectively). The patient had documented increments of serum monoclonal component (M-protein), anemia, and renal failure with Bence Jones proteinuria (serum creatinine, 2.9 mg/dL; creatinine clearance, 30 mL/min; hemoglobin, 10.9 g/dL; serum IgGkappa M-protein, 3.9 g/dL; proteinuria 3.5 g/d;light-chain level in urine, 1.2 g/L). After 2 cycles with bortezomib at a reduced dose (1.0 mg/m2 twice weekly for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period) to evaluate tolerability and renal toxicity, the patient completed another 3 cycles at the standard dose (1.3 mg/m2) in combination with dexamethasone (20 mg on the day of bortezomib administration and the day after). This led to an improvement of the renal function with a reduction of serum and urinary M-protein (serum creatinine 1.4 mg/dL; serum IgGkappa M-protein, 2.9 g/dL; proteinuria, 2 g/d; kappa light-chain level in urine, 0.7 g/L). The patient developed thrombocytopenia but did not suffer from some of the more severe adverse events associated with bortezomib, such as infection or peripheral neuropathy, even at full dose.


We report an elderly patient with refractory MM and progression with renal failure who responded to bortezomib treatment. Bortezomib was well tolerated in this patient.

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