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Ann Hematol. 2008 Aug;87(8):623-31. doi: 10.1007/s00277-008-0501-0. Epub 2008 May 8.

Safety and efficacy of bortezomib and melphalan combination in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: updated results of a phase 1/2 study after longer follow-up.

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Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA.


Bortezomib synergizes with melphalan in preclinical and early clinical studies. Updated data from our phase 1/2 study assessing the safety and efficacy of bortezomib plus melphalan in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) are presented. Bortezomib (0.7, 1.0, or 1.3 mg/m(2)) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 and oral melphalan (0.025-0.25 mg/kg) on days 1-4 of a 28-day cycle were administered. Hematologic toxicities defined the maximum tolerated dose as bortezomib 1.0 mg/m(2) and melphalan 0.10 mg/kg. Because dose-limiting toxicities were attributed to the more myelosuppressive melphalan, cohorts 9 and 10 with higher bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2)) and lower melphalan (0.025 and 0.10 mg/kg) doses were added. Responses occurred in 32/46 (70%) evaluable patients: two complete (4%), five near-complete (11%), 16 partial (35%), and nine minimal (20%). Complete and near-complete responses were observed only with higher bortezomib doses. Response rates were similar in patients with prior melphalan or bortezomib. Median progression-free survival was 9 months (range, 1-24), and overall survival was 32 months (range, 1-54). The most common grade 3/4 hematologic adverse events (AEs) were neutropenia (31%/0%), thrombocytopenia (25%/2%), and anemia (13%/0%). Grade 4 tumor lysis syndrome was reported in one patient. Fewer grade 3/4 hematologic AEs were reported in cohorts 9 and 10 than in cohorts receiving lower bortezomib and higher melphalan doses. In conclusion, bortezomib plus melphalan is a steroid- and immunomodulatory drug-free regimen that may provide a treatment alternative for elderly patients and patients with significant comorbidity.

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