Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by the pathologic production of fibrillar proteins comprised of monoclonal light chains which deposit in tissues and cause organ dysfunction. The diagnosis can be challenging, requiring a biopsy and often specialized testing to confirm the subtype of systemic disease. The goal of treatment is eradication of the monoclonal plasma cell population and suppression of the pathologic light chains which can result in organ improvement and extend patient survival. Standard treatment approaches include high dose melphalan (HDM) followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) or oral melphalan with dexamethasone (MDex). The use of novel agents (thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib) alone and in combination with steroids and alkylating agents has shown efficacy and continues to be explored. A risk adapted approach to SCT followed by novel agents as consolidation reduces treatment related mortality with promising outcomes. Immunotherapeutic approaches targeting pathologic plasma cells and amyloid precursor proteins or fibrils are being developed. Referral of patients to specialized centers focusing on AL amyloidosis and conducting clinical trials is essential to improving patient outcomes.
The prognosis in amyloid light chain (AL)-amyloidosis and multiorgan involvement is poor, with a high-treatment-related mortality after high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDM/SCT). Some patients, however, might benefit from the therapy. We report a case of cardiac AL-amyloidosis with multiorgan involvement where the progressive cardiomyopathy was halted after successful treatment with HDM/SCT in 2001. The patient is in an excellent cardiac condition with a good quality of life, receiving treatment with angiotensinogen receptor blockers and a flexible diuretics regimen at follow-up after 10 years.
AL amyloidosis is caused by clonal plasma cells that produce immunoglobulin light chains which misfold and get deposited as amyloid fibrils. Therapy directed against the plasma cell clone leads to clinical benefit. Melphalan and corticosteroids have been the mainstay of treatment for a number of years and the recent availability of other effective agents (IMiDs and proteasome inhibitors) has increased treatment options. Autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) has been used in the treatment of AL amyloidosis for many years. It is associated with high rates of hematologic response and improvement in organ function. However, transplant carries considerable risks. Careful patient selection is important to minimize transplant related morbidity and mortality and ensure optimal patient outcomes. As newer more affective therapies become available the role and timing of ASCT in the overall treatment strategy of AL amyloidosis will need to be continually reassessed.
A 55-year-old woman with primary Immunoglobulin light chain (AL) systemic amyloidosis died due to spontaneous rupture of her liver following treatment with high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplant (HDM/SCT). She was first diagnosed after developing nephrotic-range proteinuria. Spontaneous rupture of her liver occurred 10 days after treatment with HDM/SCT and was complicated by septic shock. She was not eligible for surgical intervention and died shortly after. Amyloid fibrils were extracted from the autopsied liver sample (05-135L) and the biochemical nature of the fibrils was analyzed using electrophoretic and immunohistochemical techniques. Our testing showed that the fibrils were composed of immunoglobulin lambda light chains that were not glycosylated.
While the liver is often involved in AL amyloidosis, this is the first documented case of a spontaneous hepatic rupture in a patient during treatment with HDM/SCT. A literature review of spontaneous liver rupture in patients with amyloidosis is presented.
AL amyloidosis; liver rupture; stem cell transplantation
Simultaneous cardiac and renal involvement is associated with a particularly poor prognosis in patients with AL amyloidosis (AL-A). We report the first case of a successful long-term outcome of combined heart and kidney transplantation not followed by autologous stem cell transplantation in a patient with systemic AL-A. The recipient was a 46-year-old man with end-stage renal failure associated with serious cardiac involvement in the context of AL-A. Before transplantation, two courses of oral melphalan plus prednisone induced partial hematologic remission, as shown by the decrease in circulating free light chain with no improvement of renal or heart function. The patient underwent combined heart and kidney transplantation as a rescue treatment. Three years after organ transplantation, plasma cell dyscrasia remains in complete remission, with normal free lambda light chain levels and no recurrence of amyloid deposition on heart and kidney grafts. This case report demonstrates that successful long-term outcome of combined heart and kidney transplantation not systematically associated with stem cell transplantation may be considered an additional therapeutic option in AL-A patients with severe organ dysfunction and partial hematologic remission.
Amyloidosis; surgery; Heart Transplantation; Humans; Kidney Transplantation; Male; Melphalan; administration & dosage; Middle Aged; Prednisone; administration & dosage; Transplantation Conditioning; Treatment Outcome; combine Heart and Kidney transplantation; Amyloidosis
Patients with AL amyloidosis who present with severe heart failure due to cardiac involvement rarely survive more than six months. Survival after cardiac transplantation is markedly reduced due to the progression of amyloidosis. Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has become a common therapy for AL amyloidosis, but there is an exceedingly high treatment-related mortality in patients with heart failure.
We developed a treatment strategy of cardiac transplant followed by ASCT. 26 patients were evaluated, and of 18 eligible patients, nine patients underwent cardiac transplantation. Eight of these patients subsequently received an ASCT.
Six of seven evaluable patients achieved a complete hematologic remission, and one achieved a partial remission. At a median follow-up of 56 months from cardiac transplant, five of seven patients are alive without recurrent amyloidosis. Their survival is comparable to 17,389 patients who received heart transplants for non-amyloid heart disease: 64% in non-amyloid vs. 60% in amyloid patients at seven years (p= 0.83). Seven of eight transplanted patients have had no evidence of amyloid in their cardiac allograft.
This demonstrates that cardiac transplantation followed by ASCT is feasible in selected patients with AL amyloidosis and heart failure, and that such a strategy may lead to improved overall survival. (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00456040)
Amyloid; Cardiac Amyloidosis; Stem Cell Transplantation
Cardiac amyloidosis is one of the most common of the infiltrative cardiomyopathies and is associated with a poor prognosis. The extent of cardiac involvement with amyloid deposition is an important determinant of treatment options and is the major determinant of outcome in patients with amyloidosis. Several small case series with sequential orthotopic heart transplantation and autologous stem cell transplant have demonstrated an improvement in post-transplant outcome and have revived enthusiasm about heart transplantation for patients with end-stage heart failure due to AL amyloidosis. The purpose of this review is to summarize the evaluation and management of cardiac amyloidosis and to provide our single-center experience with end-stage heart failure due to AL amyloidosis treated with heart transplantation followed by an autologous stem cell transplant.
Cardiac amyloidosis; amyloid protein; AL amyloidosis; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant; end-stage cardiac amyloidosis
This paper provides an overview of developments in the diagnosis, therapy and monitoring of the monoclonal gammopathies, particularly multiple myeloma and AL amyloidosis. Consensus statements outlining diagnostic criteria for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), myeloma and amyloidosis have been recently published. Understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of myeloma has accelerated in the last decade and provides the basis for improved prognostication and therapeutic interventions. Myeloma therapy has progressed with the introduction of autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation and the recent introduction of the novel agents, thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib. Each of these therapeutic advances has contributed to the improved survival seen in this patient population. Similar treatment advances are occurring in AL amyloidosis. While serum and urine electrophoretic analysis remain the “gold standard” laboratory techniques for the accurate and cost-effective monitoring of the monoclonal gammopathies, new tests such as the free light chain assays have a complementary role. New guidelines for the monitoring of both myeloma and AL amyloidosis have been produced that incorporate these newer tests.
In the 21st Century, melphalan-prednisone can no longer be regarded as the standard treatment of multiple myeloma patients not eligible for high-dose melphalan followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. The introduction of thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib has improved the arsenal of therapeutic options in multiple myeloma. Indeed, randomized studies have shown that melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide and melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib are superior to melphalan-prednisone alone. Additionally, other combinations, including lenalidomide are under study. In this review we discuss the role of novel therapies in multiple myeloma in elderly multiple myeloma patients. Important aspects, such as toxicity and the role of prognostic factors, are also addressed.
Initial manifestations of light-chain amyloidosis (AL) are variable and often result in missed or delayed diagnosis. Survival in AL patients depends mainly on the severity of cardiac involvement. Dominant stage-III cardiac involvement due to primary systemic amyloidosis precludes effective AL treatment and is associated with an average survival of only 3–4 months. The following paper discusses the benefits of orthotopic heart transplantation and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to improve survival in patients with progressive cardiac AL.
light-chain amyloidosis; AL amyloidosis; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; orthotopic heart transplantation
Cardiac amyloidosis describes a clinical disorder caused by infiltration of abnormal insoluble fibrils in the heart, characterized by progressive heart failure and a grave prognosis. Pleural effusion in cardiac amyloidosis may represent a sign of heart failure, but it can also result from pleural infiltration of amyloid, manifested by recurrent large fluid accumulations. Recently, the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of refractory pleural effusion. We report a case of a 53 year-old female patient with cardiac amyloidosis who presented with recurrent accumulation of large pleural effusions. She was initially treated with high dose loop diuretics, but the pleural effusion persisted, with the daily amount of drainage averaging 1 L/day. Accumulation of pleural fluid did not subside after 3 cycles of melphalan/prednisolone therapy. After the introduction of bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody, the amount of pleural effusion decreased significantly. Efficacy of anti-VEGF therapy for refractory pleural effusions needs to be defined through further studies.
Heart disease; Amyloidosis; Pleural effusion; Bevacizumab
Aggressive treatment with high-dose i.v. melphalan followed by auto-SCT (HDM/SCT) is effective in inducing hematological and clinical remissions, and in extending survival in AL amyloidosis. Tandem cycles of HDM/SCT have been shown to increase hematologic complete response rates in patients with AL amyloidosis. Between April 1994 and July 2008, 57 patients with AL amyloidosis at the Boston University Medical Center were treated with a second cycle of HDM/SCT after failing to achieve a complete response after a first transplantation. A total of 11 of 57 patients (19%) treated with tandem transplantation developed high fever 12–24 h after melphalan administration. The average peak temperature was 39.1 °C. Other clinical features include hypotension, acute renal failure and skin rash. No infectious etiology was identified. One of the patients had serum available for measurement of cytokines before, during and after the febrile reaction. The concentration of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and TNFα, increased significantly, showing a clear physiological response correlating with the clinical findings. We conclude that an unusual cytokine-mediated febrile reaction can occur in patients with AL amyloidosis exposed to a second cycle of high-dose melphalan, which we have termed a ‘melphalan recall’ reaction.
AL amyloidosis; stem cell transplantation; melphalan recall
High-dose melphalan (200 mg/m2) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is the standard treatment for young patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, the response rates after ASCT are often unsatisfactory. We performed a pilot study by using bortezomib-melphalan as conditioning regimen for ASCT in Korean patients with MM.
The conditioning regimen consisted of administration of intravenous infusion of bortezomib 1.0 mg/m2 on days -4 and -1 and melphalan 50 mg/m2 (day -4) and 150 mg/m2 (day -1). In this study, we enrolled 6 newly diagnosed patients and 2 patients with relapse.
The disease status of the 6 newly diagnosed patients at ASCT was as follows: 1 complete remission (CR), 1 very good partial remission (VGPR), and 4 partial remissions (PRs). The disease status of the 2 relapsed patients at ASCT was PR. All patients except 1 showed adequate hematologic recovery after ASCT. The median time for the absolute neutrophil counts to increase over 500/mm3 was 13 days (range, 10-19 days). Six patients with VGPR or PR at the time of transplantation showed an improvement in response to CR after ASCT. The patients were followed up without any maintenance treatment after ASCT except 1 patient who died during ASCT. During the follow-up period, CR was maintained in 3 newly diagnosed patients, but the other 4 patients, including 2 newly diagnosed patients, relapsed.
Conditioning regimen consisting of bortezomib and melphalan may be effective for ASCT in MM; however, the feasibility of this regimen should be further evaluated in large study populations.
Multiple myeloma; Bortezomib; Melphalan
We report a case of a 53-year old patient with symptoms of congestive heart failure in whom a restrictive cardiomyopathy and a kappa-chain monoclonal gammopahty were diagnosed. Treatment with eight cycles of Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, resulted in a significant regression of myocardial amyloid deposition and a notable clinical and hemodynamic improvement. Over the last few years, the management of cardiac amyloidosis has taken advantage of many of the advances of the chemotherapeutic regimens, as well as the wider availability of stem cell transplantation. The management of cardiac amyloidosis is also expected to evolve and improve with the better understanding of the specific mechanisms of amyloidogenesis and myocardial deposition. This will probably make certain molecules targeting specific sites in this process, as potentially effective and minimally toxic compared therapy with the currently used ones. In this article, we describe one of the first reported cases of cardiac amyloidosis, successfully treated with Bortezomib. We describe and discuss the mechanisms of action of Bortezomib and provide a detailed review of cardiac amyloidosis, from pathophysiology to diagnosis and treatment.
Cardiac amyloidosis can result from any of the systemic amyloidoses. The disease is often characterized by a restrictive cardiomyopathy although the particular signs and symptoms depend in part on the underlying cause. In addition to managing the symptoms of heart failure, treatment options vary depending on the etiology of amyloid deposition. It is therefore critical to identify the cause of cardiac amyloidosis before initiating definitive therapy. We present a patient with presumed immunoglobulin (AL) amyloidosis who had a circulating lambda monoclonal protein, but a bone marrow biopsy with kappa predominant plasma cells. This unusual finding called into question the diagnosis of AL amyloidosis and highlights the importance and difficulty of determining the cause of cardiac amyloid deposition before initiating treatment. We review the different forms of cardiac amyloidosis and propose a diagnostic algorithm to help identify the etiology of cardiac amyloid deposition before beginning therapy.
cardiac amyloidosis; AL amyloidosis; familial amyloidosis; restrictive cardiomyopathy
Multiple myeloma is a rare, largely incurable malignant disease of plasma cells. Patients usually present with hypercalcemia, renal insufficiency, anemia and/or lytic bony lesions along with a monoclonal protein in the serum and/or urine in addition to an increase in the number of clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow. Patients with myeloma live on an average for five to seven years, with their survival dependent on the presence or absence of different prognostic markers. Treatment of younger fit patients is with induction therapy consisting of steroids with one or more novel anti-myeloma agents followed by high dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation, while older and less fit patients are treated with melphalan-based combination chemotherapy. Supportive care is of paramount importance and includes the use of bisphosphonates, prophylactic antibiotics, thrombosis prophylaxis and the use of hematopoietic growth factors along with the treatment of complications of disease and its therapy. As more progress is being made and deeper responses are being attained, the disease might turn into a potentially curable one in the near future.
Myeloma; Multiple myeloma; Plasma cell myeloma; Plasma cell dyscrasia; Monoclonal gammopathy
Importance of the field
Treatment options for amyloidosis and POEMS have rapidly increased in the past years, but many patients are diagnosed late in the disease course and do not receive state of the art therapy
Areas covered in this review
Stem cell transplantation and novel agents have widened the chemotherapy alternatives available in these disorders and combinations of novel agents with high dose therapy further improve treatment opotions. This review covers the main areas of debate in the optimal treatment amyloidosis and POEMS patients, focusing on the implications for everyday clinical practice and management strategies published in the past 36 months.
What the reader will gain
Insights into treatment strategies are provided in the review. Keys to early recognition of the syndromes are reviewed
Take home message
With early diagnosis most patients are therapy candidates. New agents and new application of stem cell transplantation have dramatically improved outcomes for these previously uniformly poor prognosis disorders.
amyloidosis; POEMS syndrome; osteosclerotic multiple myeloma; bortezomib; lenalidomide; thalidomide; stem cell transplantation; multiple myeloma; Castleman’s Disease; monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; paraneoplastic syndrome; vascular endothelial growth factor
Amyloidosis occurs when certain soluble proteins are transformed into amyloid fibrils in the extracellular space. Most common are the light-chain amyloidoses; less common is the AA-amyloidosis, which follows chronic inflammatory diseases, and the amyloidoses of transthyretin (TTR) origin. We report on a women of Italian-German origin with the mutation TTR (Ser23Asn). Whole body scintigraphy using TC99m-DPD showed end stage hereditary amyloidosis caused by ATTR with predominant tracer retention in the myocardium. Myocardial biopsies revealed the presence of amyloid by Congo red staining. Further immunohistochemical analysis showed ATTR amyloidosis. DNA sequencing revealed a point mutation of the transthyretin gene leading to a single amino acid substitution. The only effective treatment in patients with manifest cardiac ATTR amyloidosis is combined heart and liver transplantation. Our patient was placed on a list for this procedure, but unfortunately she died during the standby procedure due to urosepsis.
Cardiac involvement predicts poor prognosis in light chain (AL) amyloidosis, and the current prognostic classification is based on cardiac biomarkers troponin-T (cTnT) and N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-ProBNP). However, long-term outcome is dependent on the underlying plasma cell clone, and incorporation of clonal characteristics may allow for better risk stratification.
Patients and Methods
We developed a prognostic model based on 810 patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis, which was further examined in two other datasets: 303 patients undergoing stem-cell transplantation, and 103 patients enrolled onto different clinical trials.
We examined the prognostic value of plasma cell–related characteristics (ie, difference between involved and uninvolved light chain [FLC-diff], marrow plasma cell percentage, circulating plasma cells, plasma cell labeling index, and β2 microglobulin). In a multivariate model that included these characteristics as well as cTnT and NT-ProBNP, only FLC-diff, cTnT, and NT-ProBNP were independently prognostic for overall survival (OS). Patients were assigned a score of 1 for each of FLC-diff ≥ 18 mg/dL, cTnT ≥ 0.025 ng/mL, and NT-ProBNP ≥ 1,800 pg/mL, creating stages I to IV with scores of 0 to 3 points, respectively. The proportions of patients with stages I, II, III and IV disease were 189 (25%), 206 (27%), 186 (25%) and 177 (23%), and their median OS from diagnosis was 94.1, 40.3, 14, and 5.8 months, respectively (P < .001). This classification system was validated in the other datasets.
Incorporation of serum FLC-diff into the current staging system improves risk stratification for patients with AL amyloidosis and will help develop risk-adapted therapies for AL amyloidosis.
Autologous stem cell transplantation is considered the standard of care for multiple myeloma patients aged < 65 years with no relevant comorbidities. The addition of drugs acting both on bone marrow microenvironment and on neoplastic plasma cells has significantly increased the proportion of patients achieving a complete remission after induction therapy, and these results are mantained after high-dose melphalan, leading to a prolonged disease control. Studies are being carried out in order to evaluate whether short term consolidation or long-term maintenance therapy can result into disease eradication at the molecular level thus increasing also patients survival. The efficacy of these new drugs has raised the issue of deferring the transplant after achiving a second response upon relapse. Another controversial point is the optimal treatment strategy for high-risk patients, that do not benefit from autologous stem cell transplantation and for whom the efficacy of new drugs is still matter of debate.
Cardiac dysfunction is a well-recognized complication of light chain amyloidosis (AL). Autologous stem cell transplant (auto-SCT) has emerged as a successful treatment modality for AL patients. In this study, we examined the effect of clonal immunoglobulin light chain genes (VL), which encodes the immunoglobulin light chain protein that ultimately forms amyloid, on cardiac function, in the context of auto-SCT and its impact on overall survival. Longitudinal Doppler myocardial imaging parameters along with cardiac biomarkers were used to assess for cardiac function pre and post auto-SCT. VL gene analysis revealed that Vλ genes, in particular VλVI, were associated with worse cardiac function parameters than Vκ genes. Clonal VL genes appeared to have an impact on left ventricular (LV) function post-transplant and also influenced mortality, with specific VL gene families associated with lower survival. Another key predictor of mortality in this report was change in tricuspid regurgitant flow velocity following auto-SCT. Correlations were also observed between systolic strain rate, systolic strain and VL genes associated with amyloid formation. In summary, clonal VL gene usage influences global cardiac function in AL, with patients having VλVI and VλII-III-associated amyloid more severely affected than those having Vκ or VλI amyloid. Pulsed wave tissue Doppler imaging along with immunoglobulin gene analysis offers novel insights into prediction of mortality and cardiac dysfunction in AL after auto-SCT.
Thirty-eight patients with previously treated Hodgkin's disease were given high dose combination chemotherapy using melphalan and BCNU and autologous bone marrow transplantation. In 25 patients etoposide was added in conventional dosage. During the course of the study the dose of melphalan was increased from 80 to 140 mg m-2 and the dose of BCNU from 300 to 600 mg m-2. The response rate was 76% with 53% complete remission. Forty-five per cent of the patients are free of disease at 4-20 months follow-up. There were eight (26%) treatment-related deaths due to lung damage (seven cases) and irreversible cardiac failure (one case). Fatal lung damage occurred only in patients receiving 600 mg m-2 of BCNU with high dose melphalan. The dose of BCNU given with high dose melphalan should not exceed 500 mg m-2. This treatment is effective against relapsed Hodgkin's disease but must be used cautiously. The best time for its use remains to be determined.
Sixty-three new untreated patients with multiple myeloma under the age of 70 years received C-VAMP induction treatment followed by high-dose intravenous melphalan (200 mg m(-2)) and autologous stem cell transplant, either with marrow [autologous bone marrow transplants (ABMT), n = 26] or with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-mobilized stem cells from the blood [peripheral blood stem cell transplants (PBSCT), n = 37]. This was a sequential study and the two groups were not significantly different for all known prognostic variables. The complete remission (CR) rate after high-dose treatment was the same for both groups [ABMT 84% and PBSCT 70%; P = not significant (NS)]. Neutrophil recovery to 0.5 x 10(9) l(-1) occurred at a median of 22 days in the ABMT patients compared with 19 days for the PBSCT patients (P = NS). Platelet recovery to 50 x 10(9) l(-1) was significantly faster in PBSCT patients (19 days vs 33 days; P = 0.0015), and the PBSCT patients spent fewer days in hospital (median 20 vs 27 days; P = 0.00001). There was no difference in the two groups with respect to starting interferon (58 days for ABMT vs 55 days for PBSCT), and tolerance to interferon was identical. The median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for the PBSCT patients has not yet been reached. The OS in the ABMT patients at 3 years was 76.9% (95% CI 60-93%) compared with 85.3% (95% CI 72-99%) in the PBSCT patients (P = NS), and the PFS at 3 years in the ABMT patients was 53.8% (95% CI 34-73%) and in the PBSCT patients was 57.6% (95% CI 34-81%) (P = NS). The probability of relapse at 3 years was 42.3% in the ABMT arm compared with 40% in the PBSCT patients (P = NS). Thus, PBSCT patients had a faster engraftment and a shorter stay in hospital than ABMT; the survival outcome and probability of relapse was the same for both groups.
High-dose chemotherapy (HDT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) have been used for the treatment of clinically aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). However, the superiority of specific conditioning regimens has not yet been established. The present study evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of a conditioning regimen involving fractionated total body irradiation (TBI), and the use of Ara-C and melphalan (TAM) for clinically aggressive NHL.
Materials and Methods
Between March 2002 and December 2004, 31 patients with aggressive NHL received fractionated TBI with a dose of 12 Gy over 3 days, and were administered 9 g/m2 Ara-C and 100 mg/m2 melphalan followed by autologous peripheral blood stem Cell Transplantation at the Catholic Hematopoietic Stem cell transplantation Center Korea. Patients that responded to first line chemotherapy and achieved complete remission (CR), or were in a first sensitive relapse were defined as having less advanced disease, while the other patients were defined as having more advanced disease.
Objective responses were obtained in 24 of 31 patients (77.4%), comprising complete remission in 19 patients (61.3%) and partial remission in 5 (16.1%) patients. The median follow-up time was 28 months (range 1~62 months). At 3 years, the overall survival and event-free survival (EFS) rates were 62.3% and 47.3%, respectively. Patients with less advanced disease and more advanced disease showed 3-year EFS rates of 73.3% and 22.5 %, respectively (p=0.006). Early (within the first 100 days) treatment-related mortality occurred in 3 (9.7%) patients. Of the 31 total patients, 15 (48.4%) developed grade 3 mucositis, 22 (70.9%) developed neutropenic fever, and two (6.5%) developed interstitial pneumonia syndrome>grade 3.
The modified TAM conditioning regimen and ASCT appear to be a feasible treatment regimen for clinically aggressive NHL, particularly for patients with less advanced disease.
TAM conditioning; High dose therapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Melphalan combined with prednisone (MP) has long been the historical treatment of reference for a large proportion of elderly myeloma (MM) patients ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation, and is still the backbone of new regimens that include the new era of novel agents. Melphalan–prednisone–thalidomide (MPT) and melphalan–prednisone–bortezomib (Velcade®, MPV), proved superior to MP, currently appear to be the treatments of choice for this population. In the near future melphalan–prednisone–lenalidomide (Revlimid®, MPR) will also provide a third therapeutic option (MPT, MPV, and MPR), in elderly multiple myeloma, eventually. These options could lead to more personalized treatment approaches, based on patient comorbidities, as the three novel agents have somewhat different toxicity profiles. Dexamethasone-based regimen is another option and questions regarding the relative efficacy of melphalan-based versus low-dose dexamethasone-based regimens will require randomized phase III trials. More intensive approaches with new drug combinations or with the incorporation of polyethylene glycolated (PEGylated) liposomal doxorubicin will also require additional studies. Additionally, the important issue of maintenance treatment needs to be further investigated. These new and emerging therapies offer multiple effective treatment options for MM patients and greatly enhanced treatment strategies for clinicians.
multiple myeloma; elderly; bortezomib; thalidomide; revlimid; IMiDs; supportive care