Early Relapse Following Initial Therapy for Multiple Myeloma Predicts Poor Outcomes in the era of Novel Agents

Outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved in recent years owing to use of novel agents and high-dose therapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). We analyzed the outcomes of 511 consecutive patients treated with novel therapies at our institution between 2006 and 2014 to determine the impact of relapse within 12 months of initiating treatment. 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.


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