Consensus guidelines for the optimal management of adverse events in newly diagnosed, transplant-ineligible patients receiving melphalan and prednisone in combination with thalidomide (MPT) for the treatment of multiple myeloma
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Thalidomide has received approval from the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products for the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients older than 65 years or ineligible for transplant. The results of five phase III trials assessing thalidomide in combination with melphalan and prednisone (MPT) have demonstrated significantly improved response rates compared with melphalan and prednisone (MP) alone. Additionally, two of these studies showed that survival was extended by approximately 18 months in patients treated with MPT compared with MP alone. Thalidomide, in combination with MP, is associated with adverse events (AEs) including peripheral neuropathy and venous thromboembolism. In order to optimize the efficacy of MPT, a good awareness of these AEs is imperative. This manuscript outlines both evidence- and consensus-based recommendations discussed by a panel of experts, to provide a practical guide for physicians addressing the effective management of newly diagnosed, transplant-ineligible MM patients receiving thalidomide therapy.