The availability of new agents for multiple myeloma (MM) provides an opportunity to further improve response rates through the development of new combination regimens. Such new agents include pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) and the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide, all of which have demonstrated efficacy and safety in the treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed/ refractory MM. Based on their complementary mechanisms of action and nonoverlapping toxicity profiles, PLD and the immunomodulatory drugs might provide incremental benefits when used in combined treatment regimens. Thus, they have been evaluated in clinical studies that combine PLD/vincristine/ dexamethasone and thalidomide (DVd-T) or PLD/vincristine/dexamethasone and lenalidomide (DVd-R) as well as in a study combining bortezomib with PLD and thalidomide. Results of all these studies have included high overall response rates, with improved rates of complete/near complete response compared with similar regimens that do not include chemotherapy (ie, immunomodulatory drugs plus dexamethasone). This article provides the clinical rationale for the use of PLD in combination with immunomodulatory drugs to treat patients with MM and summarizes the clinical experience with these combinations to date. Notably, the early phase I/II study results have been sufficiently encouraging to warrant further investigation in additional large-scale, phase II/III studies. Future clinical trials should focus on determining the optimal dose and schedule for each of these agents when used in combination and whether the addition of other new agents provides an additional response benefit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research