• bortezomib;
  • induction;
  • multiple myeloma;
  • stem cell transplantation;
  • thalidomide



This single-center retrospective study determined the efficacy of bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (BTD) as induction for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who were eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).


Patients with symptomatic MM who had received BTD induction before stem cell collection at Winship Cancer Institute were included. BTD induction comprised up to 8 3-week cycles of bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2 on Days 1, 4, 8, and 11; thalidomide 100 mg daily; and dexamethasone 40 mg on Days 1 through 4 and Days 9 through 12. Stem cell mobilization involved granulocyte-colony–stimulating factor and/or cyclophosphamide. Response was assessed according to European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria.


Review of medical records identified 44 eligible patients (34 patients who were treated in the front-line setting and 10 patients who were treated for recurrent disease) who received a median of 4 BTD cycles. The overall response rate (ORR) was 91%, which included a greater than or equal to very good partial response (≥VGPR) rate of 57% (including 20% stringent complete responses/complete response [sCR/CR] rate). In front-line patients, the ORR was 94%, which included a 56% ≥VGPR rate (24% sCR/CR). The median CD34-positive stem cell collection was 10.67 × 106/kg. The ORR after ASCT in 34 patients who were evaluable for response was 100%, including a 76% ≥VGPR rate (53% sCR/CR). Among all 44 patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 27.4 months. The median overall survival (OS) was not reached after a median follow-up of 25 months, and the 2-year OS rate was 82%. There were no significant differences in PFS (27.4 months vs 23.5 months) or in 2-year survival (80% vs 90%) between patients who did and did not undergo ASCT, respectively. Twenty patients (45%) developed neuropathy, including 4 (9%) with grade 3 neuropathy episodes, and 1 patient developed deep vein thrombosis.


BTD was highly effective and well tolerated as induction for MM patients who were eligible for ASCT. Long-term outcomes appeared to be similar with or without ASCT consolidation. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.