Background

The use of immunomodulatory agents and proteasome inhibitors in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients has improved outcomes and led to their widespread use as induction regimens independent of transplant eligibility. Although the overall toxicity profiles of these regimens are considered favorable, their prolonged use warrants a heightened vigilance for toxicities during therapy, and treating physicians need to carefully balance efficacy and toxicity profiles for each patient. Given that patients enrolled on clinical trials, per eligibility criteria, are less frail and/or have fewer comorbidities than patients in the general population, we were motivated to conduct a large study designed to define the safety profiles of the most commonly used induction regimens in the US, based on real-world evidence data.

Methods

We identified 185 consecutive NDMM patients treated with bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRd) vs. carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) at MSKCC between 2015 and 2019. By reviewing all available data for these patients, we defined the incidence of cardiopulmonary toxicities, hypertension, renal complications, and peripheral motor or sensory neuropathy.

Results

A total of 81 and 104 patients were treated with VRd and KRd induction, respectively (Table 1). The VRd (compared to KRd) group had a smaller proportion of patients with high-risk cytogenetics (36% vs. 55%, P=0.01); yet, the >CR rate was lower in the VRd (compared to KRd) group (28% vs. 45%, P=0.02) (Table 2).

Table 3 summarizes select toxicities. The incidence of cardiopulmonary AEs was similar in both groups: 12% (N=9) and 10% (N=11) in the VRd and KRd groups, respectively, with the majority limited to grade 1 and 2 (P=1.00); observed cardiac toxicity was reversible in 8 of 9 (89%) vs. 9 of 11 (82%) patients. Renal toxicity was rare in both groups (2% vs. 4% for VRd vs. KRd, P=0.70).

New onset or worsening of pre-existing (at baseline) neuropathy was significantly (P<0.00001) more common in the VRd group with 45 (56%) patients developing all grades of peripheral neuropathy. In the KRd group, 13 (12%) patients reported new onset or worsening of pre-existing (at baseline) grade 1 peripheral neuropathy during therapy, and it resolved in 9/13 patients after completing therapy. Of the 45 patients with neuropathy in the VRd group, 16/45 (35%) developed sensory alteration or paresthesia (including tingling) interfering with function and/or symptomatic weakness interfering with function, or more severe forms of neuropathy (grade >2), and 26/45 (58%) patients developed chronic neuropathy after completion of induction therapy. These patients required various interventions, including opiates (N=7), pregabalin/gabapentin/duloxetine (N=17), rehabilitation/physical therapy (N=2), assistive devices such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs (N=3). None of the patients treated with KRd had new onset neuropathy requiring pain medication. In the VRd group, neuropathy resulted in treatment discontinuation for 6 (7%) patients. Overall, 9% and 4% of patients treated with VRd and KRd, respectively, had treatment discontinuation due to AEs (P=0.22). There were no deaths in the two groups.

Conclusion

Using real-world evidence data, we defined the safety profiles of VRd and KRd. In sharp contrast to clinical trials mandating recurrent IV fluids before/after administration of carfilzomib, we use optimized IV fluid management (250 ml saline before dose 1 of cycle 1, thereafter no IV fluids) coupled with baseline work-up, including EKG and echocardiogram, for all patients treated with KRd. Therefore, we did not observe excess rates of cardiopulmonary or renal AEs with KRd, and the majority were reversible. In the VRd group, 45 (56%) patients developed new onset or worsening neuropathy, and a third of these developed sensory alteration or paresthesia interfering with function and/or symptomatic weakness interfering with function, or more severe forms of neuropathy. Overall, about 30% of all VRd treated patients developed chronic neuropathy after induction therapy, including disabling neuropathy in some patients and often with need for continued pain treatment. Neuropathy resulted in treatment discontinuation for 7% of patients treated with VRd. These real-world evidence data demonstrate the general tolerability and efficacy of KRd induction, with less severe neuropathy compared to VRd.

Disclosures

Hultcrantz:Daiichi Sankyo: Research Funding; Amgen: Research Funding; Intellisphere LLC: Consultancy; GSK: Research Funding. Korde:Amgen: Research Funding; Astra Zeneca: Other: Advisory Board. Lesokhin:GenMab: Consultancy, Honoraria; Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria; Serametrix Inc.: Patents & Royalties; Juno: Consultancy, Honoraria; Janssen: Research Funding; BMS: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding. Mailankody:Allogene Therapeutics: Research Funding; Physician Education Resource: Honoraria; PleXus Communications: Honoraria; Takeda Oncology: Research Funding; Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company: Research Funding; Janssen Oncology: Research Funding. Hassoun:Takeda: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy; Celgene: Research Funding. Shah:Physicians Education Resource: Honoraria; Celgene/BMS: Research Funding. Scordo:Kite - A Gilead Company: Other: Ad-hoc advisory board; Omeros Corporation: Consultancy; Angiocrine Bioscience, Inc.: Consultancy, Research Funding; McKinsey & Company: Consultancy. Chung:Genentech: Research Funding. Shah:Amgen Inc.: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding. Lahoud:MorphoSys: Other: Advisory Board. Giralt:Actinuum: Research Funding; Amgen: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Quintiles: Research Funding; Pfizer: Research Funding; CSL Behring: Research Funding; Jazz: Research Funding; Kite: Research Funding; Sanofi: Research Funding; Adienne: Research Funding. Landgren:Adaptive: Consultancy, Honoraria; Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Merck: Other; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria; Juno: Consultancy, Honoraria; Cellectis: Consultancy, Honoraria; BMS: Consultancy, Honoraria; Binding Site: Consultancy, Honoraria; Karyopharma: Research Funding; Merck: Other; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria; Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Juno: Consultancy, Honoraria; Glenmark: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Cellectis: Consultancy, Honoraria; BMS: Consultancy, Honoraria; Takeda: Other: Independent Data Monitoring Committees for clinical trials, Research Funding; Binding Site: Consultancy, Honoraria; Karyopharma: Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Independent Data Monitoring Committees for clinical trials, Research Funding; Glenmark: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Takeda: Other: Independent Data Monitoring Committees for clinical trials, Research Funding; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Independent Data Monitoring Committees for clinical trials, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.