Bortezomib in Multiple Myeloma: A Practice Guideline
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AIMS: Bortezomib (Velcade™, PS-341), a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, has been extensively studied either alone or in combination with other agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma. We created a provincial guideline for the use of bortezomib, in newly diagnosed individuals (both eligible and ineligible for transplant) and in individuals with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and relevant meeting abstracts. Outcomes of interest were survival, disease control, response rate, response duration, quality of life and adverse effects. Members of the Cancer Care Ontario Hematology Disease Site Group (CCO HDSG), comprising physicians with content expertise, epidemiologists and consumers, developed a guideline through a systematic process that involved assessment of the best available evidence, consensus interpretation of the evidence and a validation process involving practitioners across the province. RESULTS: The CCO HDSG recommends the use of bortezomib-based combinations in previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma who are candidates for autologous stem cell transplantation and in individuals who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation. The group further recommends the use of bortezomib, alone or in combination, for patients with relapsed/refractory disease. The evidence did not establish a subgroup of patients with myeloma that should be uniquely targeted for therapy with bortezomib. Qualifying statements by the HDSG address alternative dosing options, the management of cytopenias and the prevention of toxicities, including herpes zoster reactivation. CONCLUSIONS: Bortezomib alone or in combination with other agents can be recommended for both previously untreated or relapsed/refractory patients with multiple myeloma. Guidelines for monitoring and reducing toxicity are provided.