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Blood. 2013 Jun 6;121(23):4753-7. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-11-466961. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Risk factors for MDS and acute leukemia following total therapy 2 and 3 for multiple myeloma.

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Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA.


Lenalidomide has been linked to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) after autotransplants for myeloma. Total therapy trials (TT; TT2(-/+) thalidomide) and TT3 (TT3a with bortezomib, thalidomide; TT3b with additional lenalidomide) offered the opportunity to examine the contribution of these immune-modulatory agents to MDS-associated cytogenetic abnormalities (MDS-CA) and clinical MDS or acute leukemia ("clinical MDS/AL"). Of 1080 patients with serial cytogenetic studies, MDS-CA occurred in 11% and clinical MDS/AL in 3%. Risk features of MDS-CA included TT3b, age ≥65 years, male gender, levels of β-2-microglobulin >5.5 mg/L, and multiple myeloma relapse. Clinical MDS/AL occurred less frequently in the control arm of TT2 and more often with TT3a and TT3b. Since MDS-CA often antedated clinical disease, periodic cytogenetic monitoring is recommended. Larger CD34 quantities should be collected upfront as the risk of MDS could be reduced by applying higher CD34 doses with transplant. Thus, treatment, host, and myeloma features could be linked to MDS development after therapy for this malignancy. This trial was registered at TT3A: NCT00081939, TT3B: NCT00572169.

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