Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), in which some of a patient’s own blood stem cells are removed before high-dose chemotherapy and then re-infused after chemotherapy to repopulate the blood and bone marrow, is commonly used to treat multiple myeloma, but not all patients can tolerate this intense treatment. In this study, researchers want to see if a combination of drugs is as effective as treatment that includes ASCT in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, to see if some patients can be spared from high-intensity treatment.
All patients in this study will receive the combination of lenalidomide, bortezomib, and dexamethasone (also called RVD), drugs which are used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, and all patients will have blood stem cells collected for possible use during ASCT. Patients will then be randomly assigned to have ASCT followed by maintenance therapy with lenalidomide, or proceed to a few more cycles of RVD followed by maintenance therapy with lenalidomide, without having ASCT.
Patients without ASCT may be offered this treatment later on if their disease eventually progresses.