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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 52

of 'Treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma'

A systematic review of phase II trials of thalidomide/dexamethasone combination therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Hahn-Ast C, Furkert K, Hoffmann F, Naumann R, Bargou R, Cook G, Glasmacher A
Eur J Haematol. 2008;81(4):247. Epub 2008 Jul 10.
Thalidomide monotherapy in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) has a response rate of 30%. The combination of thalidomide with dexamethasone (Thal/Dex) is expected to improve responses, but it is unknown if the combination increases the rate of adverse events. Here, we conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating Thal/Dex in relapsed/refractory MM. Twelve studies were included, comprising 451 patients. The response rate (CR and PR) was 46% (95% CI 42-51%). Therapy-related toxicity was comparable to thalidomide monotherapy and included somnolence (26%, 95% CI 22-31%), constipation (37%, 95% CI 32-42%) and peripheral neuropathy (27%, 95% CI 23-32%). Only venous thromboembolism appeared to occur more often with Thal/Dex (5%, 95% CI 3-8%). Thus, using Thal/Dex results in an improved response rate in relapsed/refractory MM, with a toxicity rate comparable to thalidomide monotherapy.
Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik III, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität, Bonn, Germany. m.lilienfeld.toal@uni-bonn.de