BACKGROUND: The treatment paradigm for multiple myeloma (MM) continues to evolve with the development of novel therapies and the earlier adoption of continuous treatments into the treatment pathway. Lenalidomide-refractory patients now represent a challenge with inferior progression free survival (PFS) reported to subsequent treatments. We therefore sought to describe the natural history of MM patients following lenalidomide in the real world.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort review of patients with relapsed MM who received lenalidomide-based treatments in the U.K. Data were collected for demographics, subsequent therapies, treatment responses, survival outcomes and clinical trial enrollment.
RESULTS: 198 patients received lenalidomide-based treatments at a median of 2 prior lines of therapy at a median of 41 months (range 0.5-210) from diagnosis. 114 patients (72% of 158 evaluable) became refractory to lenalidomide. The overall survival (OS) after lenalidomide failure was 14.7 months having received between 0-6 subsequent lines of therapy. Few deep responses were observed with subsequent treatments and the PFS to each further line was < 7 months. There was a steep reduction in numbers of patients able to receive further treatment, with an associated increase in number of deaths. The OS of patients progressing on lenalidomide who did not enter a clinical trial incorporating novel agents was very poor (8.8 months versus 30 months, p 0.0002), although the trials group were a biologically fitter group.
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate the poor outcomes of patients failing lenalidomide-based treatments in the real world, the highlight need for more effective treatments.