Cure for multiple myeloma is rare; the success of treatment is measured by response, and length of remissions and survival. Initial treatment for patients young and fit enough is high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation. Various chemotherapy regimens are employed as initial therapy in patients who cannot withstand the autologous stem cell transplantation regimen, and for treatment of refractory or relapsed disease. Commonly used agents either alone or in combination have included dexamethasone, vincristine, doxorubicin, melphalan, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, cisplatin and, more recently, thalidomide. Within the past few years, the first-in-class proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been introduced for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma with data demonstrating efficacy and safety. Throughout Europe, a faculty of experts conducted a series of debates with over 450 clinicians to discuss the efficacy of bortezomib vis-à-vis other available therapies. Of primary concern was the place of bortezomib in maximizing efficacy throughout the course of the disease and treatment by increasing response rates and improving duration of response, while maintaining an acceptable level of toxicity. The experts concluded that bortezomib, with its unique mechanism of action and demonstrated clinical efficacy and safety, should be considered as standard, early treatment in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, especially after first relapse. Copyright

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Dicato, M., Boccadoro, M., Cavenagh, J., Harousseau, J.-L., Ludwig, H., San Miguel, J. F., & Sonneveld, P. (2007). Management of multiple myeloma with bortezomib: Experts review the data and debate the issues. Oncology (Vol. 70, pp. 474–482). doi:10.1159/000099284