The role of autologous-allogeneic tandem stem cell transplantation (alloTSCT) followed by maintenance as upfront treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) is controversial.
Between 2008 and 2014 a total of 217 MM patients with a median age of 51 years were included by 20 German centers within an open-label, parallel-group, multi-center clinical trial to compare alloTSCT to auto tandem transplantation TSCT (autoTSCT) followed by a 2-year maintenance therapy with thalidomide (100 mg/d) in both arms with respect to relapse/progression-free survival (PFS) and other relevant outcomes.
A total of 178 patients underwent second SCT (allo n = 132 and auto n = 46). PFS at 4 years after the second SCT was 47% (CI: 38-55%) for alloTSCT and 35% (CI: 21-49%) for autoTSCT (p = 0.26). This difference increased to 22% at 8 years (p = 0.10). The cumulative incidences of non-relapse mortality (NRM) and of relapse at 4 years were 13% (CI: 8-20%) and 2% (CI: 0.3-2%) (p = 0.044) and 40% (CI: 33-50%) and 63% (CI: 50-79%) for alloTSCT and autoTSCT (p = 0.04), respectively. The difference for relapse/progression increased to 33% (alloTSCT: 44%, autoTSCT: 77%) at a median follow-up of 82 months (p = 0.002).
Four-year OS was 66% (CI: 57-73%) for alloTSCT and 66% (CI: 50-78%) for auto TSCT (p = 0.91) and 8-year OS was 52% and 50% (p = 0.87), respectively.
AlloTSCT followed by thalidomide maintenance reduced the rate of recurrence or progression during a follow-up period of up to 10 years but failed to improve PFS significantly.
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