, Volume 27, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 25-42

Advances in treatment for relapses and refractory multiple myeloma

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Recent advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma have resulted in improved response rates and overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma. These advances are largely due to thalidomide-, lenalidomide-, and bortezomib-based combinations that have improved response rates, not only in patients with untreated disease, but also in those with relapsed and/or refractory myeloma, in some cases producing response rates up to 85%. Eventually, however, nearly all patients relapse, emphasizing a continuing role for the introduction of investigational agents that overcome drug resistance. This article will review the current role for thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib-based combinations, as well as some preliminary findings for promising investigational agents currently in clinical trials for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease.