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Management of treatment-emergent peripheral neuropathy in multiple myeloma

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Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is one of the most important complications of multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. PN can be caused by MM itself, either by the effects of the monoclonal protein or in the form of radiculopathy from direct compression, and particularly by certain therapies, including bortezomib, thalidomide, vinca alkaloids and cisplatin. Clinical evaluation has shown that up to 20% of MM patients have PN at diagnosis and as many as 75% may experience treatment-emergent PN during therapy. The incidence, symptoms, reversibility, predisposing factors and etiology oftreatment-emergent PN vary among MM therapies, with PN incidence also affected by the dose, schedule and combinations of potentially neurotoxic agents. Effective management of treatment-emergent […]

IMWG Guidelines for the Prevention of Thalidomide- and Lenalidomide-Associated Thrombosis in Myeloma

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The risk of VTE in cancer patients is greater than 7%; those with myeloma have the highest risk of thrombosis.2 The oral immunomodulatory drugs, thalidomide and lenalidomide, further increase that risk. The following guidelines from the International Myeloma Working Group recommend a prophylaxis strategy based upon a risk assessment model. The recommendations have been made in the absence of clear data from randomized studies, and are therefore based on common sense and on data extrapolated from many studies not specifically designed to answer these questions. Treatment decisions must be based on the type of therapy and the patient’s individual risk factors. Risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in myeloma patients […]

Mobilization in myeloma revisited: IMWG consensus perspectives on stem cell collection following initial therapy with thalidomide-, lenalidomide-, or bortezomib-containing regimens

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The past decade has witnessed a paradigm shift in the initial treatment of multiple myeloma with the introduction of novel agents such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib, leading to improved outcomes. High-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation remains an important therapeutic option for patients with multiple myeloma eligible for the procedure. Before the advent of the novel agents, patients underwent stem cell collection prior to significant alkylating agent exposure, given its potential deleterious effect on stem cell collection. With increasing use of the novel agents in the upfront setting, several reports have emerged raising concerns about their impact on the ability to collect stem cells. An expert panel of […]

Genetic associations with thalidomide mediated venous thrombotic events in myeloma identified using targeted genotyping

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A venous thromboembolism (VTE) with the subsequent risk of pulmonary embolism is a major concern in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma with thalidomide. The susceptibility to developing a VTE in response to thalidomide therapy is likely to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. To test genetic variation associated with treatment related VTE in patient peripheral blood DNA, we used a custom-built molecular inversion probe (MIP)-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip containing 3404 SNPs. SNPs on the chip were selected in “functional regions” within 964 genes spanning 67 molecular pathways thought to be involved in the pathogenesis, treatment response, and side effects associated with myeloma therapy. Patients […]

Prevention of thalidomide- and lenalidomide-associated thrombosis in myeloma

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The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is more than 1 per thousand annually in the general population and increases further in cancer patients. The risk of VTE is higher in multiple myeloma (MM) patients who receive thalidomide or lenalidomide, especially in combination with dexamethasone or chemotherapy. Various VTE prophylaxis strategies, such as low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), warfarin or aspirin, have been investigated in small, uncontrolled clinical studies. This manuscript summarizes the available evidence and recommends a prophylaxis strategy according to a risk-assessment model. Individual risk factors for thrombosis associated with thalidomide/lenalidomide-based therapy include age, history of VTE, central venous catheter, comorbidities (infections, diabetes, cardiac disease), immobilization, surgery and inherited thrombophilia. Myeloma-related […]