Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) experienced improved Global Health Status/Quality of Life scale scores, compared with similar patients who received lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in the open-label, randomized, phase III ASPIRE trial.

In addition to the improved progression-free survival with KRd vs. Rd, which was previously reported ( N Engl J Med. 2015 Jan 8;372[3]:142-52 ), 396 patients randomized to receive KRd had higher scores on the Global Health Status/Quality of Life (GHS/QoL) scale across 18 28-day treatment cycles, as compared with 396 patients randomized to receive Rd. Statistically significant differences were seen at cycle 12 when 25.5% of KRd-treated patients and 17.4% of Rd patients met the responder definition of at least a 5-point improvement on the GHS/QoL scale. At cycle 18, 24.2% vs. 12.9% of patients in the groups, respectively, met the responder definition, A. Keith Stewart, MD , of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and his colleagues reported online ahead of print (J Clin Oncol. 2016 Sep. 6. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.66.9648 ).

At least a 15-point improvement was seen in 19.9% of KRd-treated patients and 12.4% of Rd-treated patients at cycle 12, and in 17.7% and 10.6%, respectively, at cycle 18. The minimal important difference of 5.6 points on the GHS/QoL scale was met at cycle 12 and was approached (4.8) at cycle 18, the researchers said.

The addition of carfilzomib to Rd improved health-related quality of life without negatively affecting patient-reported symptoms or increasing adverse treatment effects, they concluded.

Dr. Stewart reported consulting or advisory roles with several drug companies including Amgen, the maker of carfilzomib. Detailed disclosures for all authors are available with the full text of the article at


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