• By Deborah Balzer

Carfilzomib is not superior to Bortezomib in delaying multiple myeloma progression after initial treatment

May 28, 2020
computer notebook with word Myeloma , test tubes, thermometer and stethoscope in foreground

ROCHESTER, Minn. ―  Carfilzomib, a proteasome inhibitor used in combination with Lenalidomide, an immune modulating drug, is not superior to Bortezomib, Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone, in the initial treatment of multiple myeloma according to the results of phase 3 clinical trial presented today at #ASCO20 scientific program by Shaji Kumar, M.D. , a hematologist at Mayo Clinic.

"Previous, small, single arm studies initially suggested that carfilzomib, a next generation proteasome inhibitor may give better results than Bortezomib in the initial treatment of multiple myeloma," says Dr. Kumar. "This phase 3 trial, was designed to examine if Carfilzomib would be more effective than Bortezomib, when combined with Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone for treatment of newly diagnosed myeloma." 

Dr. Kumar says that despite a higher rate of deeper clinical responses with carfilzomib, the drug was not superior to Bortezomib in delaying the progression of myeloma after initial treatment. In addition, Dr. Kumar says that researchers observed more cardiac, pulmonary and renal system toxicity among patients treated with Carfilzomib than among patients treated with Bortezomib.

"Our findings are important, as clinicians had started using Carfilzomib based on early results from smaller studies," says Dr. Kumar. "The results of this randomized study clearly show that the Carfilzomib is not superior to Bortezomib, and that it may cause more severe side effects." 

Dr. Kumar also notes that Bortezomib is in the process of being reclassified as a generic drug which could significantly decrease the cost of myeloma treatment. "Our findings also highlight the value in clinicians waiting for the results of phase 3 clinical trials before widely adopting new treatments in their practices."

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Media contact: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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