Final Overall Survival Results of a Randomized Trial Comparing Bortezomib Plus Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin With Bortezomib Alone in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

BACKGROUND. Previous results from an interim analysis of an open-label, randomized, phase 3 study demonstrated that bortezomib combined with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) was superior to bortezomib monotherapy in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma who had previously received one or more lines of therapy. Protocol-defined final survival data from that study are provided here.

METHODS. Patients were randomized (1:1) to receive either bortezomib alone (1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 of every 21-day cycle) or bortezomib-PLD (bortezomib plus PLD 30 mg/m2 intravenously on day 4). The primary endpoint was the time to progression. Secondary efficacy endpoints included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, and the overall response rate.

RESULTS. In total, 646 patients (bortezomib-PLD, n = 324; bortezomib alone, n = 322) were randomized between December, 2004, and March, 2006. On the clinical cutoff date (May 16, 2014) for the final survival analysis, at a median follow-up of 103 months, 79% of patients had died (bortezomib-PLD group: 253 of 324 patients; 78%; bortezomib alone group: 257 of 322 patients; 80%). The median OS in the bortezomib-PLD group was 33 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 28.9-37.1) versus 30.8 months (95% CI, 25.2-36.5) in the bortezomib alone group (hazard ratio, 1.047; 95% CI, 0.879-1.246; P = .6068). Salvage therapies included conventional and novel drugs, which were well balanced between the two treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS. Despite inducing a superior time to progression, long-term follow-up revealed that PLD-bortezomib did not improve OS compared with bortezomib alone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The inability to sustain the early observed survival advantage may have been caused by the effects of subsequent lines of therapy, and underscores the need for long-term follow-up of phase 3 trials while recognizing the challenge of having adequate power to detect long-term differences in OS. Cancer 2016;000:000–000. © 2016 American Cancer Society.