Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone versus thalidomide plus dexamethasone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: A comparative analysis of 411 patients

Francesca Gay, Suzanne R. Hayman, Martha Q. Lacy, Francis Buadi, Morie A. Gertz, Shaji Kumar, Angela Dispenzieri, Joseph R. Mikhael, P. Leif Bergsagel, David Dingli, Craig B. Reeder, John A. Lust, Stephen J. Russell, Vivek Roy, Steven R. Zeldenrust, Thomas E. Witzig, Rafael Fonseca, Robert A. Kyle, Philip R. Greipp, A. Keith StewartS. Vincent Rajkumar

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101 Scopus citations


The objective of this case-control study was to compare the efficacy and toxicity of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (len/dex) versus thalidomide plus dexamethasone (thal/dex) as initial therapy for newly diagnosed myeloma. We retrospectively studied 411 newly diagnosed patients treated with len/dex (228) or thal/dex (183) at the Mayo Clinic. The differences were similar in a matched-pair analysis that adjusted for age, sex, transplantation status, and dexamethasone dose. The proportions of patients achieving at least a partial response to len/dex and thal/dex were 80.3% versus 61.2%, respectively (P < .001); very good partial response rates were 34.2% and 12.0%, respectively (P < .001). Patients receiving len/dex had longer time to progression (median, 27.4 vs 17.2 months; P = .019), progressionfree survival (median, 26.7 vs 17.1 months; P = .036), and overall survival (median not reached vs 57.2 months; P < .018). A similar proportion of patients in the 2 groups experienced at least one grade 3 or 4 adverse event (57.5% vs 54.6%, P = .568). Main grade 3 or 4 toxicities of len/dex were hematologic, mainly neutropenia (14.6% vs 0.6%, P < .001); the most common toxicities in thal/dex were venous thromboembolism (15.3% vs 9.2%, P = .058) and peripheral neuropathy (10.4% vs 0.9%, P < .001). Len/dex appears well-tolerated and more effective than thal/dex. Randomized trials are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1350
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 18 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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