Salvage therapy versus upfront autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma patients with progressive disease after first-line induction therapy

Joanna Blocka, Thomas Hielscher, Carsten Mueller-Tidow, Hartmut Goldschmidt, Jens Hillengass
Leukemia & Lymphoma 2019 August 19, : 1-10
It is a matter of debate whether myeloma patients with progressive disease (PD) after induction should receive salvage therapy or proceed directly to autologous stem cell transplantation. We performed a retrospective analysis of 1599 patients treated between 1991 and 2016 at the University Hospital of Heidelberg and other centers. Deepening of response through salvage therapy did not lead to better progression-free or overall survival (PD versus salvage therapy patients: HR  = 0.71, 95% CI [0.28, 1.80], p  = 0.5 and HR  = 0.77, 95% CI [0.30, 1.95], p  = 0.6, respectively), neither in patients treated with novel agents ( HR  = 0.66, 95% CI [0.23, 1.85], p  = 0.4 and HR  = 0.76, 95% CI [0.27, 2.15], p  = 0.6) nor older regimens ( HR  = 0.86, 95% CI [0.36, 2.07], p  = 0.7 and HR  = 0.8, 95% CI [0.34, 1.91], p  = 0.6). Therefore, primary nonresponders might benefit from a direct transplant rather than salvage induction, although the analyzed salvage therapy cohort was small ( n  = 23) and cytogenetics was not included in the multivariable analysis.


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