Seventy-five patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma were randomly treated with the association of Peptichemio, Vincristine and prednisone (PTC-VCR-P) or of melphalan and P (MPH-P) for first induction therapy. After induction, all responsive patients received MPH and P until relapse, while unresponsive patients received it until unequivocal evidence of disease progression was observed. A second induction therapy with PTC-VCR-P was then administered, except to patients resistant to this association at first induction (who received combination chemotherapy which included cyclophosphamide and adriamycin). The response rate was 58% in the PTC-VCR-P and 41% in the MPH-P group (P > 0.05). The PTC-VCR-P responsive patients experienced a median duration of response shorter than MPH-P responsive patients (20.3 vs 39.7, P = 0.041). Median survival from the start of treatment was 26.2 months in the PTC-VCR-P and 54.1 months in the MPH-P group of patients (P = 0.039). Stage I and II myelomas had the same response rate to PTC-VCR-P and to MPH-P, but their survival was shorter on PTC-VCR-P than on MPH-P (P = 0.014). Stage III myelomas responded more frequently to PTC-VCR-P than to MPH-P (P <0.02) and there was a trend to survive longer on PTC-VCR-P than on MPH-P (22.0 vs 12.5 months, P > 0.05).
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