Annals of Hematology

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 911–919 | Cite as

The clinical impact of thalidomide maintenance after autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in real clinical practice of Korea

  • Ho Sup Lee
  • Chang-Ki MinEmail author
  • Je-Jung Lee
  • Kihyun Kim
  • Seok Jin Kim
  • Dok Hyun Yoon
  • Hyeon-Seok Eom
  • Hyewon Lee
  • Won Sik Lee
  • Ho-Jin Shin
  • Ji Hyun Lee
  • Yong Park
  • Jae-Cheol Jo
  • Young Rok Do
  • Yeung-Chul Mun
  • Mark Hong Lee
  • The Korean Multiple Myeloma Working Party (KMMWP)
Original Article


In real clinical settings (not clinical trials), thalidomide has been accepted as maintenance therapy to patients with multiple myeloma (MM) because of the cost of drugs, the limitations of medical insurance, etc., in our country (South Korea). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of thalidomide maintenance for improving survival in transplantation-eligible patients with MM in the real clinical field. Differences in survival rates were estimated in patients treated with or without thalidomide maintenance. The 3-year progression-free survival rates (PFS) of patients with and without maintenance, respectively, were 55.4 and 37.2 % (p = 0.005). The 3-year overall survival rates (OS) were 88.0 and 84.0 % (p = 0.105). No difference in 3-year OS after relapse or progression (OS2) was observed between the two groups (50.4 and 55.3 %, p = 0.661). The 3-year PFS of patients with and without maintenance therapy who had shown less than CR after ASCT were 68.4 and 23.3 % (p < 0.001). In conclusion, Thalidomide maintenance therapy showed longer PFS in real clinical practice, and long-term use of thalidomide did not interfere with the efficacy of salvage chemotherapy in patients who experienced progression or relapse after ASCT. In addition, thalidomide maintenance might be also useful for patients who have shown less than CR after ASCT.


Multiple myeloma Thalidomide Transplantation Maintenance Survival 



This study was supported by the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A120175).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ho Sup Lee
    • 1
  • Chang-Ki Min
    • 2
    Email author
  • Je-Jung Lee
    • 3
  • Kihyun Kim
    • 4
  • Seok Jin Kim
    • 4
  • Dok Hyun Yoon
    • 5
  • Hyeon-Seok Eom
    • 6
  • Hyewon Lee
    • 6
  • Won Sik Lee
    • 7
  • Ho-Jin Shin
    • 8
  • Ji Hyun Lee
    • 9
  • Yong Park
    • 10
  • Jae-Cheol Jo
    • 11
  • Young Rok Do
    • 12
  • Yeung-Chul Mun
    • 13
  • Mark Hong Lee
    • 14
  • The Korean Multiple Myeloma Working Party (KMMWP)
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineKosin University College of MedicineBusanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Hematology-OncologyChonnam National University Hwasun HospitalHwasunSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical CenterSunkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Oncology, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  6. 6.Department of Internal MedicineNational Cancer Center of KoreaGoyangSouth Korea
  7. 7.Department of Internal MedicineBusan Paik HospitalBusanSouth Korea
  8. 8.Department of Internal MedicinePusan National University HospitalBusanSouth Korea
  9. 9.Department of Internal MedicineDong-A University College of MedicineBusanSouth Korea
  10. 10.Department of Internal MedicineKorea University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  11. 11.Department of Hematology and OncologyUlsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of MedicineUlsanSouth Korea
  12. 12.Department of Hemato-OncologyKeimyung University Dongsan Medical CenterDaeguSouth Korea
  13. 13.Department of Internal MedicineEwha Womans University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  14. 14.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal MedicineKonkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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