• induction therapy;
  • bortezomib-containing induction regimen;
  • nonbortezomib-containing induction regimen;
  • transplant-eligible;
  • multiple myeloma


The objective of this meta-analysis in patients with myeloma was to test the hypothesis that the addition of bortezomib to induction therapy not only improves the depth of response but also improves post-transplant progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) outcomes.


Phase 3 trials that randomized newly diagnosed, transplant-eligible patients with myeloma to receive either a bortezomib-containing induction regimen (BCIR) or a nonbortezomib-containing induction regimen (NBCIR) were identified. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were adapted for data synthesis, and comprehensive meta-analysis software was used to report pooled data as hazard ratios or odds ratios under a random-effects model.


Four published phase 3 trials that included 2169 patients were analyzed. The postinduction and post-transplant pooled odds ratio for achieving a complete response/near complete response or a very good partial response or better and the overall response rate were higher with BCIR. The pooled hazard ratios for 3-year PFS and OS were 0.71 (95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.83; P < .00,001) and 0.79 (95% confidence interval, 0.66-0.96; P = .014), respectively, favoring BCIR. The odds of developing selected grade ≥3 toxicities (peripheral neuropathy and varicella-zoster virus reactivation) also were higher with BCIR.


The current meta-analysis demonstrated that BCIR results in an improved depth of response, which translates into improved post-transplant PFS and OS outcomes despite a higher incidence of toxicity. This analysis supports the concept that the choice of induction regimen can influence post-transplant outcomes such as PFS and OS. Cancer 2013;119:4119–4128. © 2013 American Cancer Society.