A modified high-dose dexamethasone regimen for primary systemic (AL) amyloidosis


Giampaolo Merlini, MD, Biotechnology Research Laboratories, University Hospital IRCCS – Policlinico San Matteo, Piazzale Golgi, 2, 27100 Pavia, Italy. E-mail: gmerlini@smatteo.pv.it


High-dose dexamethasone (HD-Dex) has been reported to benefit AL amyloidosis patients with varying response rates. Our preliminary experience with the usual HD-Dex schedule indicated that the induction phase was rather toxic in AL patients. We therefore adopted a milder schedule consisting of dexamethasone 40 mg on d 1–4 q21 d for up to eight cycles. Overall 8 out of 23 (35%) treated patients responded to treatment in a median time of 4 months (range 2–6 months) without significant toxicity. This regimen may be considered front-line therapy when autologous stem cell transplantation is not feasible and when a rapid response is particularly important.