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Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Jun 1;23(11):2665-2672. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2620. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Adverse Metaphase Cytogenetics Can Be Overcome by Adding Bortezomib and Thalidomide to Fractionated Melphalan Transplants.

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Myeloma Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Cancer Research and Biostatistics, Seattle, Washington.
Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Myeloma Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Purpose: To determine whether a reduction in the intensity of Total Therapy (TT) reduces toxicity and maintains efficacy.Experimental Design: A total of 289 patients with gene expression profiling (GEP70)-defined low-risk multiple myeloma were randomized between a standard arm (TT4-S) and a light arm (TT4-L). TT4-L employed one instead of two inductions and consolidations. To compensate for potential loss of efficacy of TT4-L, bortezomib and thalidomide were added to fractionated melphalan 50 mg/m2/d for 4 days.Results: Grade ≥3 toxicities and treatment-related mortalities were not reduced in TT4-L. Complete response (CR) rates were virtually identical (P = 0.2; TT4-S, 59%; TT4-L, 61% at 2 years), although CR duration was superior with TT4-S (P = 0.05; TT4-S, 87%; TT4-L, 81% at 2 years). With a median follow-up of 4.5 years, there was no difference in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Whereas metaphase cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) tended to be an adverse feature in TT4-S, as with predecessor TT trials, the reverse applied to TT4-L. Employing historical TT3a as training and TT3b as test set, 51 gene probes (GEP51) significantly differentiated the presence and absence of CA (q < 0.0001), seven of which function in DNA replication, recombination, and repair. Applying the GEP51 model to clinical outcomes, OS and PFS were significantly inferior with GEP51/CA in TT4-S; such a difference was not observed in TT4-L.Conclusions: We identified a prognostic CA-linked GEP51 signature, the adversity of which could be overcome by potentially synergizing anti-multiple myeloma effects of melphalan and bortezomib. These exploratory findings require confirmation in a prospective randomized trial. Clin Cancer Res; 23(11); 2665-72. ©2016 AACR.

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