Author(s): Barlogie B, PinedaRoman M, van Rhee F, Haessler J, Anaissie E,
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Abstract Total Therapy 2 examined the clinical benefit of adding thalidomide up-front to a tandem transplant regimen for newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. When initially reported with a median follow-up of 42 months, complete response rate and event-free survival were superior among the 323 patients randomized to thalidomide, whereas overall survival was indistinguishable from that of the 345 patients treated on the control arm. With further follow-up currently at a median of 72 months, survival plots segregated 5 years after initiation of therapy in favor of thalidomide (P = .09), reaching statistical significance for the one third of patients exhibiting cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs; P = .02), a well-recognized adverse prognostic feature. The duration of complete remission was also superior in the cohort presenting with CAs such that, at 7 years from onset of complete remission, 45\% remained relapse-free as opposed to 20\% on the control arm (P = .05). These observations were confirmed when examined by multivariate analysis demonstrating that thalidomide reduced the hazard of death by 41\% among patients with CA-positive disease (P = .008). Because two thirds of patients without CAs have remained alive at 7 years, the presently emerging separation in favor of thalidomide may eventually reach statistical significance as well.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Translational Medicine