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Blood. 2011 Mar 17;117(11):3025-31. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-09-307645. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Complete response correlates with long-term progression-free and overall survival in elderly myeloma treated with novel agents: analysis of 1175 patients.

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Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, AOU S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.


Complete response (CR) was an uncommon event in elderly myeloma patients until novel agents were combined with standard oral melphalan-prednisone. This analysis assesses the impact of treatment response on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). We retrospectively analyzed 1175 newly diagnosed myeloma patients, enrolled in 3 multicenter trials, treated with melphalan-prednisone alone (n = 332), melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (n = 332), melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib (n = 257), or melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib-thalidomide (n = 254). After a median follow-up of 29 months, the 3-year PFS and OS were 67% and 27% (hazard ratio = 0.16; P < .001), and 91% and 70% (hazard ratio = 0.15; P < .001) in patients who obtained CR and in those who achieved very good partial response, respectively. Similar results were observed in patients older than 75 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed that the achievement of CR was an independent predictor of longer PFS and OS, regardless of age, International Staging System stage, and treatment. These findings highlight a significant association between the achievement of CR and long-term outcome, and support the use of novel agents to achieve maximal response in elderly patients, including those more than 75 years. This trial was registered at as #NCT00232934, #ISRCTN 90692740, and #NCT01063179.

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