Pomalidomide is the latest drug to be approved by the FDA for relapsed multiple myeloma. It is chemically related to thalidomide and lenalidomide, both also approved previously for treating multiple myeloma. Laboratory studies have shown that pomalidomide may be more effective than thalidomide in killing myeloma cells.
In this study, researchers are comparing two therapeutic approaches, both of which use pomalidomide, to see which one is more effective for treating multiple myeloma that persists or has returned despite prior therapy that included a first autologous stem cell transplant. The goal of this study is to determine whether treatment with a second autologous stem cell transplant is needed when patients are treated with pomalidomide. All patients will initially receive four cycles of pomalidomide and dexamethasone (a commonly used drug in myeloma treatment). Patients will then be randomly assigned to undergo autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) OR continue to receive pomalidomide/dexamethasone “salvage therapy” for a total of two years.
ASCT is a treatment in which some of a patient’s stem cells are removed before chemotherapy, then returned to the patient to help re-establish the patient’s immune system after chemotherapy.