Early relapse following initial therapy for multiple myeloma predicts poor outcomes in the era of novel agents

A total of 82 patients (16.0%) experienced early relapse, with median time to relapse of 8.0 months (95% confidence interval (CI); 6.3, 8.9). Median overall survival (OS) was significantly worse for this group at 21.0 months (95% CI; 16.3, 27.2) vs not reached (NR) (95% CI; 96.3, NR) for those with late relapse (P<0.001). Survival outcomes remained poor among early relapse patients irrespective of depth of response to initial therapy. In multivariate analysis, low albumin and high-risk cytogenetics predicted early relapse. Outcomes of early relapse from early ASCT were also considered; median OS from ASCT for those relapsing within 12 months was 23.1 months (95% CI; 15.7, 32.4) vs 122.2 months (95% CI; 111.5, 122.2) for the remaining patients (P<0.001). Early relapse remains a marker of poor prognosis in the current era, and such patients should be targeted for clinical trials.