Medline: 3284974

Journal of Clinical Oncology 6(5): 769-775, 1988.

An update of two randomized trials in previously untreated multiple myeloma comparing melphalan and prednisone versus three- and five-drug combinations: an Argentine Group for the Treatment of Acute Leukemia study.

Pavlovsky S, Corrado C, Santarelli MT, et al.


An update of two consecutive randomized studies in previously untreated multiple myeloma was performed. The first study (10-M-73) began in 1973; 150 patients were treated with melphalan and prednisone (MP) or semustine, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone (MeCP). In a second randomized study (3-M-77), begun in 1977, 260 patients were treated with MP or melphalan, prednisone, cyclophosphamide, semustine, and vincristine (MPCCV). A total of 27 of the 67 patients (40%) treated with MP and 33 of the 83 patients (40%) treated with MeCP showed a good response in protocol 10-M-73; 48 of 145 patients (33%) treated with MP and 51 of the 115 patients (44%) treated with MPCCV in protocol 3-M-77 obtained a good response (P is not significant). Median survival in protocol 10-M-73 was 30 months for MeCP and 38 months for MP. At 84 months, 19% and 9% remain alive, respectively. Median survival for protocol 3-M-77 was 44 months for those treated with MPCCV and 42 months for MP. At 60 months, 9% and 11% remain alive; this difference was not significant. Also, there was no survival difference for favorable or unfavorable prognostic groups among the four treatment arms of both protocols. It can be concluded, with a long-term follow-up of both protocols, that the combination of MP is as effective as the three- and five-drugs combinations, and in view of its simplicity and cost-saving advantages, it should be favored for initial therapy of multiple myeloma patients.

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