BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Standard treatment for patients with multiple myeloma is debulking chemotherapy with non-alkylating agents followed by a regimen to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and the transplantation of the mobilized, autologous PBSC. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a new regimen and compare it with that of a previous regimen. DESIGN AND METHODS: In a large cohort of 106 patients (group I) we administered a new pre-transplant program which includes 2 courses of pulsed-VAD (vincristine, adriamycin, dexamethasone) followed by 2 courses of DCEP (dexamethasone, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and cis-platinum). We compared the efficacy of this new VAD-DCEP sequence, in terms of mobilizing capacity, toxicity and anti-myeloma activity in comparison with that of the previous VAD-high-dose cyclophosphamide program (group II, 40 patients). RESULTS: In group I 81/106 (76.4%) patients yielded >or= 4x10(6)/kg CD34+ cells, as did 30/40 (75%) in group II but with a significantly higher toxicity in this latter group. In detail, 9 patients in group I (8.5%) had WHO grade III neutropenia versus 35 in group II (87.5%), 5 patients of group I (4.7%) had grade III thrombocytopenia versus 12 patients in group II (30%), and 8 patients in group I (7.5%) experienced an infections fever versus 9 patients in group II (22.5%). Therefore, nearly all patients in group II had to be admitted to hospital (39/40, 97.5%). There was a higher percentage of responses (CR+VGPR+PR) in group I than in group II: 73% versus 50% (p=0.02). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: the VAD-DCEP sequence has an adequate mobilizing capacity, without significant toxicity, and a good anti-myeloma activity, and therefore represents a safe and effective therapeutic approach for multiple myeloma patients at the onset of their disease.
A Corso, L Barbarano, P Zappasodi, R Cairoli, EP Alessandrino, S Mangiacavalli, D Ferrari, S Fava, M Fiumano, G Frigerio, L Isa, A Luraschi, C Klersy, A De Paoli, C Vergani, L Banfi, D Perego, G Ucci, G Pinotti, M Savare, L Uziel, A Vismara, E Morra, M Lazzarino. The VAD-DCEP sequence is an effective pre-transplant therapy in untreated multiple myeloma. Haematologica 2004;89(9):1124-1127; https://doi.org/10.3324/%x.