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ASCO 2016: Maintenance Lenalidomide After Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation Improves Survival in Multiple Myeloma

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Key Points

  • At 7 years, 62% of those treated with maintenance lenalidomide following autologous stem cell transplantation were alive, compared with 50% of those in the control group.
  • The benefit in overall survival was consistent across subgroups.
  • According to the study authors, lenalidomide maintenance following autologous stem cell transplant should be considered standard of care for multiple myeloma.

Several clinical trials have demonstrated that maintenance therapy with lenalidomide (Revlimid) after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant reduces the risk of disease progression in patients with multiple myeloma, but there have been no definitive results regarding overall survival. Philip McCarthy, MD, Director of Blood and Marrow Transplant at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), presented the findings of an international meta-analysis at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 8001), which showed that continuous lenalidomide following autologous stem cell transplantation improved survival in these patients. 

Study Details

The meta-analysis included three randomized controlled trials conducted by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly Cancer and Leukemia Group B [CALGB]) with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome (IFM), and the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell’Adulto (GIMEMA). It involved more than 1,200 participants.

For this analysis, 605 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated with continuous lenalidomide following autologous stem cell transplant were compared with 604 patients who were treated with placebo or no maintenance. At 7 years, 62% of those treated with maintenance lenalidomide were alive, compared with 50% of those in the control group. The benefit in overall survival was consistent across subgroups.

“Lenalidomide maintenance following autologous stem cell transplant can now be considered a standard of care for people with multiple myeloma,” said Dr. McCarthy, senior author on the meta-analysis and principal investigator of the U.S. study, CALGB (Alliance) 100104. “The improvements over the last decade in terms of both survival and quality of life for patients with this disease are striking and very encouraging.”

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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