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Arsenic trioxide-based therapy in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Authors He X, Yang K, Chen P, Liu B, Zhang Y, Wang F, Guo Z, Liu X, Lou J, Chen H

Received 3 May 2014

Accepted for publication 24 June 2014

Published 10 September 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1593—1599


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Xuepeng He, Kai Yang, Peng Chen, Bing Liu, Yuan Zhang, Fang Wang, Zhi Guo, Xiaodong Liu, Jinxing Lou, Huiren Chen

Department of Hematology, General Hospital of Beijing Military Area of PLA, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal malignancy characterized by the proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow and the production of monoclonal immunoglobulin. Although some newly approved drugs (thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib) demonstrate significant benefit for MM patients with improved survival, all MM patients still relapse. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is the most active single agent in acute promyelocytic leukemia, the antitumor activity of which is partly dependent on the production of reactive oxygen species. Due to its multifaceted effects observed on MM cell lines and primary myeloma cells, Phase I/II trials have been conducted in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory MM. Therapy regimens varied dramatically as to the dosage of ATO and monotherapy versus combination therapy with other agents available for the treatment of MM. Although ATO-based combination treatment was well tolerated by most patients, most trials found that ATO has limited effects on MM patients. However, since small numbers of patients were randomized to different treatment arms, trials have not been statistically powered to determine the differences in progression-free survival and overall survival among the experimental arms. Therefore, large Phase III studies of ATO-based randomized controlled trials will be needed to establish whether ATO has any potential beneficial effects in the clinical setting.

Keywords: multiple myeloma, arsenic trioxide, clinical trial, therapy, meta-analysis

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