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Benefit of continuous treatment for responders with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in the randomized FIRST trial© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. The phase 3, randomized Frontline Investigation of Revlimid and Dexamethasone Versus Standard Thalidomide (FIRST) trial investigating lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone until disease progression (Rd continuous) vs melphalan, prednisone and thalidomide for 12 cycles (MPT) and Rd for 18 cycles (Rd18) in transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) showed that Rd continuous prolonged progression-free survival and overall survival compared with MPT. A subanalysis of the FIRST trial was conducted to determine the benefits of Rd continuous in patients with NDMM based on depth of response. Patients randomized 1:1:1 to Rd continuous, Rd18 or MPT were divided into subgroups based on best response: complete response (CR; n=290), ≥ very good partial response (VGPR; n=679), ≥ partial response (PR; n=1 225) or ≤ stable disease (n=299). Over 13% of patients receiving Rd continuous who achieved ≥ VGPR as best response did so beyond 18 months of treatment. Rd continuous reduced the risk of progression or death by 67%, 51% and 35% vs MPT in patients with CR, ≥ VGPR and ≥ PR, respectively. Similarly, Rd continuous reduced the risk of progression or death by 61%, 54% and 38% vs Rd18 in patients with CR, ≥ VGPR and ≥ PR, respectively. In patients with CR, ≥ VGPR or ≥ PR, 4-year survival rates in the Rd continuous arm (81.1%, 73.1% or 64.6%, respectively) were higher vs MPT (70.8%, 59.8% or 57.2%, respectively) and similar vs Rd18 (76.5%, 67.7% and 62.5%, respectively). Rd continuous improved efficacy outcomes in all responding patients, including those with CR, compared with fixed duration treatment.
Citrullination of histone H3 drives IL-6 production by bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in MGUS and multiple myeloma© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. Multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable plasma cell malignancy, requires localisation within the bone marrow. This microenvironment facilitates crucial interactions between the cancer cells and stromal cell types that permit the tumour to survive and proliferate. There is increasing evidence that the bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BMMSC) is stably altered in patients with MM - a phenotype also postulated to exist in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) a benign condition that precedes MM. In this study, we describe a mechanism by which increased expression of peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 (PADI2) by BMMSCs in patients with MGUS and MM directly alters malignant plasma cell phenotype. We identify PADI2 as one of the most highly upregulated transcripts in BMMSCs from both MGUS and MM patients, and that through its enzymatic deimination of histone H3 arginine 26, PADI2 activity directly induces the upregulation of interleukin-6 expression. This leads to the acquisition of resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent, bortezomib, by malignant plasma cells. We therefore describe a novel mechanism by which BMMSC dysfunction in patients with MGUS and MM directly leads to pro-malignancy signalling through the citrullination of histone H3R26.