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Concept: Lenalidomide

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Background Daratumumab showed promising efficacy alone and with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1-2 study involving patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 569 patients with multiple myeloma who had received one or more previous lines of therapy to receive lenalidomide and dexamethasone either alone (control group) or in combination with daratumumab (daratumumab group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results At a median follow-up of 13.5 months in a protocol-specified interim analysis, 169 events of disease progression or death were observed (in 53 of 286 patients [18.5%] in the daratumumab group vs. 116 of 283 [41.0%] in the control group; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27 to 0.52; P<0.001 by stratified log-rank test). The Kaplan-Meier rate of progression-free survival at 12 months was 83.2% (95% CI, 78.3 to 87.2) in the daratumumab group, as compared with 60.1% (95% CI, 54.0 to 65.7) in the control group. A significantly higher rate of overall response was observed in the daratumumab group than in the control group (92.9% vs. 76.4%, P<0.001), as was a higher rate of complete response or better (43.1% vs. 19.2%, P<0.001). In the daratumumab group, 22.4% of the patients had results below the threshold for minimal residual disease (1 tumor cell per 10(5) white cells), as compared with 4.6% of those in the control group (P<0.001); results below the threshold for minimal residual disease were associated with improved outcomes. The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 during treatment were neutropenia (in 51.9% of the patients in the daratumumab group vs. 37.0% of those in the control group), thrombocytopenia (in 12.7% vs. 13.5%), and anemia (in 12.4% vs. 19.6%). Daratumumab-associated infusion-related reactions occurred in 47.7% of the patients and were mostly of grade 1 or 2. Conclusions The addition of daratumumab to lenalidomide and dexamethasone significantly lengthened progression-free survival among patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Daratumumab was associated with infusion-related reactions and a higher rate of neutropenia than the control therapy. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; POLLUX ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02076009 .).

Concepts: Scientific method, Multiple myeloma, Clinical trial, Cancer, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Bortezomib, Dexamethasone

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Background The combination of bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone is a standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Daratumumab has shown efficacy in combination with standard-of-care regimens in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 706 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for stem-cell transplantation to receive nine cycles of bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone either alone (control group) or with daratumumab (daratumumab group) until disease progression. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results At a median follow-up of 16.5 months in a prespecified interim analysis, the 18-month progression-free survival rate was 71.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65.5 to 76.8) in the daratumumab group and 50.2% (95% CI, 43.2 to 56.7) in the control group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.65; P<0.001). The overall response rate was 90.9% in the daratumumab group, as compared with 73.9% in the control group (P<0.001), and the rate of complete response or better (including stringent complete response) was 42.6%, versus 24.4% (P<0.001). In the daratumumab group, 22.3% of the patients were negative for minimal residual disease (at a threshold of 1 tumor cell per 105 white cells), as compared with 6.2% of those in the control group (P<0.001). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were hematologic: neutropenia (in 39.9% of the patients in the daratumumab group and in 38.7% of those in the control group), thrombocytopenia (in 34.4% and 37.6%, respectively), and anemia (in 15.9% and 19.8%, respectively). The rate of grade 3 or 4 infections was 23.1% in the daratumumab group and 14.7% in the control group; the rate of treatment discontinuation due to infections was 0.9% and 1.4%, respectively. Daratumumab-associated infusion-related reactions occurred in 27.7% of the patients. Conclusions Among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for stem-cell transplantation, daratumumab combined with bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone resulted in a lower risk of disease progression or death than the same regimen without daratumumab. The daratumumab-containing regimen was associated with more grade 3 or 4 infections. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; ALCYONE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02195479 .).

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Multiple myeloma, Cancer, Bone marrow, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Hematology, Bortezomib

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Background Daratumumab, a human IgGκ monoclonal antibody that targets CD38, induces direct and indirect antimyeloma activity and has shown substantial efficacy as monotherapy in heavily pretreated patients with multiple myeloma, as well as in combination with bortezomib in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Methods In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 498 patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma to receive bortezomib (1.3 mg per square meter of body-surface area) and dexamethasone (20 mg) alone (control group) or in combination with daratumumab (16 mg per kilogram of body weight) (daratumumab group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results A prespecified interim analysis showed that the rate of progression-free survival was significantly higher in the daratumumab group than in the control group; the 12-month rate of progression-free survival was 60.7% in the daratumumab group versus 26.9% in the control group. After a median follow-up period of 7.4 months, the median progression-free survival was not reached in the daratumumab group and was 7.2 months in the control group (hazard ratio for progression or death with daratumumab vs. control, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.28 to 0.53; P<0.001). The rate of overall response was higher in the daratumumab group than in the control group (82.9% vs. 63.2%, P<0.001), as were the rates of very good partial response or better (59.2% vs. 29.1%, P<0.001) and complete response or better (19.2% vs. 9.0%, P=0.001). Three of the most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events reported in the daratumumab group and the control group were thrombocytopenia (45.3% and 32.9%, respectively), anemia (14.4% and 16.0%, respectively), and neutropenia (12.8% and 4.2%, respectively). Infusion-related reactions that were associated with daratumumab treatment were reported in 45.3% of the patients in the daratumumab group; these reactions were mostly grade 1 or 2 (grade 3 in 8.6% of the patients), and in 98.2% of these patients, they occurred during the first infusion. Conclusions Among patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, daratumumab in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone resulted in significantly longer progression-free survival than bortezomib and dexamethasone alone and was associated with infusion-related reactions and higher rates of thrombocytopenia and neutropenia than bortezomib and dexamethasone alone. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02136134 .).

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Hematology, Proteasome, Bortezomib, Dexamethasone, Spinal cord compression

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Thalidomide and its analog, Lenalidomide, are in current use clinically for treatment of multiple myeloma, complications of leprosy and cancers. An additional analog, Pomalidomide, has recently been licensed for treatment of multiple myeloma, and is purported to be clinically more potent than either Thalidomide or Lenalidomide. Using a combination of zebrafish and chicken embryos together with in vitro assays we have determined the relative anti-inflammatory activity of each compound. We demonstrate that in vivo embryonic assays Pomalidomide is a significantly more potent anti-inflammatory agent than either Thalidomide or Lenalidomide. We tested the effect of Pomalidomide and Lenalidomide on angiogenesis, teratogenesis, and neurite outgrowth, known detrimental effects of Thalidomide. We found that Pomalidomide, displays a high degree of cell specificity, and has no detectable teratogenic, antiangiogenic or neurotoxic effects at potent anti-inflammatory concentrations. This is in marked contrast to Thalidomide and Lenalidomide, which had detrimental effects on blood vessels, nerves, and embryonic development at anti-inflammatory concentrations. This work has implications for Pomalidomide as a treatment for conditions Thalidomide and Lenalidomide treat currently.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, In vitro, Bortezomib, Dexamethasone, Teratology, Teratogens

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Background Elotuzumab, an immunostimulatory monoclonal antibody targeting signaling lymphocytic activation molecule F7 (SLAMF7), showed activity in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1b-2 study in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods In this phase 3 study, we randomly assigned patients to receive either elotuzumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (elotuzumab group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). Coprimary end points were progression-free survival and the overall response rate. Final results for the coprimary end points are reported on the basis of a planned interim analysis of progression-free survival. Results Overall, 321 patients were assigned to the elotuzumab group and 325 to the control group. After a median follow-up of 24.5 months, the rate of progression-free survival at 1 year in the elotuzumab group was 68%, as compared with 57% in the control group; at 2 years, the rates were 41% and 27%, respectively. Median progression-free survival in the elotuzumab group was 19.4 months, versus 14.9 months in the control group (hazard ratio for progression or death in the elotuzumab group, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.85; P<0.001). The overall response rate in the elotuzumab group was 79%, versus 66% in the control group (P<0.001). Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the two groups were lymphocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue, and pneumonia. Infusion reactions occurred in 33 patients (10%) in the elotuzumab group and were grade 1 or 2 in 29 patients. Conclusions Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who received a combination of elotuzumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone had a significant relative reduction of 30% in the risk of disease progression or death. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie Biotherapeutics; ELOQUENT-2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01239797 .).

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Clinical trial, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Clopidogrel, Bortezomib, Dexamethasone, Bristol-Myers Squibb

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Background Multiple myeloma cells uniformly overexpress CD38. We studied daratumumab, a CD38-targeting, human IgG1κ monoclonal antibody, in a phase 1-2 trial involving patients with relapsed myeloma or relapsed myeloma that was refractory to two or more prior lines of therapy. Methods In part 1, the dose-escalation phase, we administered daratumumab at doses of 0.005 to 24 mg per kilogram of body weight. In part 2, the dose-expansion phase, 30 patients received 8 mg per kilogram of daratumumab and 42 received 16 mg per kilogram, administered once weekly (8 doses), twice monthly (8 doses), and monthly for up to 24 months. End points included safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics. Results No maximum tolerated dose was identified in part 1. In part 2, the median time since diagnosis was 5.7 years. Patients had received a median of four prior treatments; 79% of the patients had disease that was refractory to the last therapy received (64% had disease refractory to proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs and 64% had disease refractory to bortezomib and lenalidomide), and 76% had received autologous stem-cell transplants. Infusion-related reactions in part 2 were mild (71% of patients had an event of any grade, and 1% had an event of grade 3), with no dose-dependent adverse events. The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 (in ≥5% of patients) were pneumonia and thrombocytopenia. The overall response rate was 36% in the cohort that received 16 mg per kilogram (15 patients had a partial response or better, including 2 with a complete response and 2 with a very good partial response) and 10% in the cohort that received 8 mg per kilogram (3 had a partial response). In the cohort that received 16 mg per kilogram, the median progression-free survival was 5.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.2 to 8.1), and 65% (95% CI, 28 to 86) of the patients who had a response did not have progression at 12 months. Conclusions Daratumumab monotherapy had a favorable safety profile and encouraging efficacy in patients with heavily pretreated and refractory myeloma. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development and Genmab; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00574288 .).

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Clinical trial, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Proteasome, Proteasome inhibitor, Plasma cell, Bortezomib

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Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells that has an estimated incidence of 26,850 new patients in 2015 in the United States.(1) In the past few years, dramatic progress has been made in the treatment of this disease. New classes of drugs, including proteasome inhibitors (e.g., bortezomib and carfilzomib) and immunomodulatory agents (e.g., lenalidomide and pomalidomide), have improved response rates and survival significantly, and it now appears that immunotherapy is likely to lead to even greater advances. Results regarding the use of daratumumab, an antibody directed against CD38, in patients with relapsed, refractory multiple myeloma are now reported in . . .

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Immunology, Proteasome, Plasma cell, Bortezomib, Paraprotein

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The concept of applying all active therapeutic agents in Total Therapy (TT) clinical trials for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma was pursued with the intent of developing curative treatment. The results of TT1 (n=231), TT2 (n=668) without or with thalidomide and TT3 with added bortezomib (n=303) have been reported. An update with median follow-up times of 17.1, 8.7 and 5.5 years, respectively, is provided. Conditional overall survival (OS) analysis from a 4-year landmark was applied to account for earlier protocol failure owing to disease aggressiveness and toxicities. Cumulative relative survival was computed in the context of age- and gender-matched US population, and interval-specific relative survival ratios were estimated to determine times to normal survival expectation. Based on Cox model-adjusted statistics, OS, progression-free survival and complete-response duration all improved with the transitions from TT1 to TT2 to TT3; improvement was also evident from time-to-progression estimates, 4-year conditional survival data and cumulative relative survival. Interval-specific relative survival normalized progressively sooner, reaching near-normal levels with TT3 in patients who attained complete response. Thus, a strategy using all myeloma-effective agents up-front seems effective at preventing, in progressively larger patient cohorts over time, the outgrowth of resistant tumor cells that account for ongoing relapses.

Concepts: Time, Multiple myeloma, Epidemiology, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Bortezomib, TT2, Theban Tombs

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The outlook for transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma patients has improved enormously over recent years with the incorporation of new agents into standard regimens. Novel regimens combine melphalan and prednisone (MP) with bortezomib (VMP), with thalidomide (MPT), and with lenalidomide with (MPR-R) and without (MPR) lenalidomide maintenance. The efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of these regimens have not yet been compared; therefore, we conducted a pharmacoeconomic analysis using data from randomized controlled trials versus MP.Using a Markov model developed from a U.S. payer’s perspective, we compared VMP with MPT and MPR-R over a lifetime horizon. MPT and MPR-R were chosen because, like VMP, they are superior to MP in response and outcomes. Data from the Velcade as Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma (VISTA; VMP), Intergroupe Francophone duMyelome(IFM) 99-06 (MPT), andMM-015(MPR-R) trials were used. The IFM 99-06 study was selected because of the superior activity in this study compared with other MPT studies. Using patient-level (VMP) and published (MPT, MPR-R) data, we estimated the health-state transition and adverse event probabilities for each regimen, related costs, and statespecific utility estimates. Costs (in 2010 U.S. dollars) and health outcomes were discounted at 3%.Discounted lifetime direct medical costs were lowest with VMP at $119,102. MPT cost $142,452 whereas MPR-R cost $248,358. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio calculations projected that VMP would confer cost savings and better health outcomes relative to MPT and MPR-R. We conclude that VMP is highly likely to be cost-effective compared with MP, MPT, and MPR-R.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Health economics, Costs, Randomized controlled trial, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Bortezomib

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Abstract Objectives: Advances in survival in multiple myeloma have focused payer attention on the cost of care. An assessment was conducted to compare the costs of two recent treatments for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (rrMM), from the perspective of a United States (US) payer. Methods: An economic model estimated the total costs of care for 2 guideline-recommended therapies in rrMM patients: bortezomib (BORT) and lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (LEN/DEX). To evaluate total treatment costs, the costs associated with drug treatment, medical resource utilization, and adverse event (AE) management were determined for each regimen over a common 1-year period. Medical costs and grade ¾ AE costs were based on rates from published literature, package inserts, and fee schedules (US dollars). To evaluate cost per outcome, assessments determined the monthly costs without disease progression based on pivotal clinical trials (APEX [BORT] and MM-009/MM-010 [LEN/DEX]). Univariate sensitivity analyses and alternative scenarios were also conducted. Results: Drug costs for the treatments were very similar, differing by under $10 per day. Medical and AE management costs for BORT were higher by more than $40 per day. Treatment with BORT had annual excess total costs of >$17,000 compared with LEN/DEX. A cost advantage for LEN/DEX was maintained across a variety of sensitivity analyses. Total cost per month without progression was 11% lower with LEN/DEX. Limitations: This analysis relied on separate studies having similar comparators, populations, and endpoints. Actual treatment patterns and costs pre- and post-relapse may vary from the base scenario and sensitivities modeled. The 12-month timeframe captures the preponderance of costs for a relapse line of therapy, yet may not reflect the entirety of costs. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether, or how, a difference in the lifetime costs of the two regimens would vary from the one-year cost difference. Conclusion: While rrMM treatment with BORT and LEN/DEX had comparable drug costs, total treatment costs for BORT were higher due to ongoing direct medical and AE management costs. Total costs per outcome (a month without disease progression) were lower for LEN/DEX.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Costs, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Bortezomib