New treatment strategies for multiple myeloma.

Abstract

Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease despite aggressive, high-dose therapy and intensive supportive care. Newer therapies with good safety profiles are needed for patients with multiple myeloma to improve the quality of responses and prolong survival. Novel treatment strategies for multiple myeloma include replacing conventional doxorubicin with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and reducing the dexamethasone dose (DVd) in the widely accepted VAD (vincristine, conventional doxorubicin, dexamethasone) regimen to improve the safety profile. Because of its antiangiogenic and immunomodulatory effects, thalidomide has also been explored for use in the treatment of multiple myeloma and has demonstrated increased response rates when used in combination with dexamethasone. These findings subsequently led to the evaluation of the role of thalidomide in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, vincristine, and reduced-dose dexamethasone (the DVd-T regimen). This regimen was associated with response rates greater than 80% in patients with both newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Future applications of this and similar regimens for the treatment of multiple myeloma are currently being explored.

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