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Haematologica. 2019 May;104(5):1026-1035. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.206912. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Efficacy of first-line treatments for multiple myeloma patients not eligible for stem cell transplantation: a network meta-analysis.

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Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Comprehensive Cancer Organisation, Utrecht.
Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam.
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Department of Hematology, Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands.


Decision making for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) not transplant eligible (NTE) is complicated by a lack of head-to-head comparisons of standards of care, the increase in the choice of treatment modalities, and the promising results that are rapidly evolving from studies with novel regimens. To support evidence-based decision making, we performed a network meta-analysis for NTE MM patients that synthesizes direct and indirect evidence and enables a comparison of all treatments. Relevant randomized clinical trials were identified by a systematic literature review in EMBASE®, MEDLINE®, MEDLINE®-in-Process and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for January 1999 to March 2016. Efficacy outcomes [i.e. the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) for progression-free survival] were extracted and synthesized in a random effects network-meta analysis. In total, 24 studies were identified including 21 treatments. According to the network-meta analysis, the HR for progression-free survival was favorable for all NTE MM treatments compared to dexamethasone (HR: 0.19-0.90). Daratumumab-bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone and bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide with bortezomib-thalidomide maintenance were identified as the most effective treatments (HR: 0.19, 95%CI: 0.08-0.45 and HR: 0.22, 95%CI: 0.10-0.51, respectively). HR and 95%CI for currently recommended treatments, bortezomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone, bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone, and lenalidomide-dexamethasone compared to dexamethasone, were 0.31 (0.16-0.59), 0.39 (0.20-0.75), and 0.44 (0.29-0.65), respectively. In addition to identifying the most effective treatment options, we illustrate the additional value and evidence of network meta-analysis in clinical practice. In the current treatment landscape, the results of network meta-analysis may support evidence-based decisions and ultimately help to optimize treatment and outcomes of NTE MM patients.

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