Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

Addition of Beta-Blockers to Pomalidomide in Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2021

The addition of beta-blockers to cancer treatment may offer antitumor benefits in multiple myeloma. Published in the European Journal of Haematology, a letter to the editor by Angela Dispenzieri, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues reported that adding beta-blockers to pomalidomide treatment improved progression-free and overall survival in this patient population.

The phase II POM trial enrolled 208 patients who had multiple myeloma with or without beta-blockers added to their treatment. All participants were administered pomalidomide with weekly dexamethasone for refractory and relapsed disease. Patient data regarding beta-blocker medication history was obtained from medical records. Usage was defined as a minimum of 3 months after a multiple myeloma diagnosis or while enrolled in the trial.

The median age of patients was 63, and 68% were male. Beta-blocker usage for at least 3 months while in the POM trial was documented in 26% of patients, whereas 37% of patients used beta-blockers for at least 3 months after their diagnosis. Despite participants in the beta-blockage usage group being older, differences between performance score, sex, year of diagnosis, presence of high-risk fluorescent in situ hybridization features at diagnosis, and the number of prior therapies were not statistically significant between beta-blocker usage and nonusage groups.

Compared with those who did not use beta-blockers, the median progression-free survival in those who did was longer (6.1 vs. 10.9 months). Patients who took beta-blockers alone had the highest progression-free survival of 13.2 months. Individuals who took other cardiovascular drugs, beta-blockers plus other cardiovascular agents, and no cardiac medications had progression-free survivals of 8.3, 5.9, and 5.1 months, respectively. During the trial, patients who used beta-blockers demonstrated a higher overall survival than those who did not (44 vs. 22 months). This was held for patients on beta-blockers from diagnosis versus no use of beta-blockers (107 vs. 86 months).

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