Publication Abstract

Authors: Warren JL, Harlan LC, Stevens J, Little RF, Abel GA

Title: Multiple myeloma treatment transformed: a population-based study of changes in initial management approaches in the United States.

Journal: J Clin Oncol 31(16):1984-9

Date: 2013 Jun 01

Abstract: PURPOSE: Despite improved outcomes for multiple myeloma, little is known about changes in initial treatment at the population level for US patients. We report trends in treatment practices. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (n = 1,976) with newly diagnosed myeloma in 1999, 2003, and 2007 were examined by using the National Cancer Institute's Patterns of Care Studies. We assessed use of common chemotherapies (melphalan, vincristine, and doxorubicin), novel agents (thalidomide, bortezomib, or lenalidomide), or hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) during the first year after diagnosis. By using logistic regression, we evaluated the association of race and insurance status with receipt of high-cost treatments--transplantation or novel agents. RESULTS: From 1999 to 2007, use of melphalan alone dropped from 32.0% to 4.1%, and vincristine and doxorubicin use declined from 18.2% to 0.4%. The percentage of patients receiving any novel agent rose from 3.9% in 1999 to 75.5% in 2007. HSCT increased from 11.1% in 1999 to 21.7% in 2007. For white patients, use of novel agents was lower for those with Medicare only (42.6%) than for those with private insurance (50.2%). For patients of other races, those with Medicare only or Medicaid were less likely to receive novel agents or transplantation compared with those with private insurance. CONCLUSION: Initial treatment for multiple myeloma has changed markedly. Most patients now receive novel agents, with a decline in the use of traditional chemotherapy. Use of transplantation and novel agents varies with race and insurance. These findings document rapid changes in patterns of care and highlight addressable disparities in myeloma care.