Background: The Japan Study Group for Cell Therapy and Transplantation (JSCT) organized a phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a treatment protocol (JSCT-MM12) for multiple myeloma (MM) patients who were previously untreated and transplantation-eligible. Since bortezomib-based therapy is known to be effective for MM, the protocol is intensified more than the previous protocol (JSCT-MM10) and comprised the subsequent treatments: bortezomib + cyclophosphamide + dexamethasone (VCD) induction; bortezomib + high-dose-melphalan (B-HDM) conditioning with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT); bortezomib + thalidomide + dexamethasone (VTD) consolidation; and lenalidomide (LEN) maintenance. Methods: Sixty-four symptomatic patients aged between 20 and 65 years were enrolled for treatment and received three cycles of VCD, followed by cyclophosphamide administration for autologous stem cell harvest and B-HDM/ASCT, and subsequently two cycles of VTD, after that LEN for 1 year. Results: Complete response (CR)/stringent CR (sCR) rates for induction, ASCT, consolidation, and maintenance therapies were 20, 39, 52, and 56%, respectively. The grade 3/4 toxicities (≥ 10%) with VCD treatment included neutropenia (27%), anemia (19%), and thrombocytopenia (11%). There was no treatment-related mortality. After median follow-up of 41 months, estimated 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 64% and 88%, respectively. The high-risk group revealed lower CR/sCR, PFS, and OS than the standard-risk group. Conclusions: The study revealed that the treatment protocol consisting of VCD induction, B-HDM/ASCT followed by VTD consolidation, and LEN maintenance could produce highly beneficial responses and favorable tolerability in newly diagnosed MM. However, future study is required for improving treatment in the high-risk group.
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