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    The antiretroviral agent nelfinavir has antimyeloma activity and can overcome resistance to bortezomib. Our phase I/II trial investigated whether adding nelfinavir to lenalidomide-dexamethasone can overcome lenalidomide resistance in lenalidomide-refractory multiple myeloma (MM). Twenty-nine patients were included (high-risk cytogenetic aberrations 31%; ≥2 prior therapy lines 93%; lenalidomide-bortezomib double-refractory 34%). Twenty-four patients (83%) had prior bortezomib and 10 (34%) were lenalidomide-bortezomib double-refractory. They received four cycles of nelfinavir 2500 mg/day with standard-dose lenalidomide (25 mg days 1-21) and dexamethasone (40/20 mg days 1, 8, 15, 22). Minor response or better was achieved in 16 patients (55%; 95% CI 36-74%), including 40% of those who were lenalidomide-bortezomib double-refractory, and partial response or better in nine patients (31%; 95% CI 15-51%). Median progression-free survival was 3.4 (95% CI 2.0-4.9) months and median overall survival 21.6 (13.0-50.1) months. Lenalidomide-related pneumonitis, pneumonia, and neutropenic fever occurred, but there were no unexpected adverse events. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells showed a 45% (95% CI 40-51%) reduction in total proteasome activity from baseline and significant induction of unfolded protein response and autophagy. Thus, nelfinavir-lenalidomide-dexamethasone is an active oral combination in lenalidomide-refractory MM.


    F Hitz, M Kraus, T Pabst, D Hess, L Besse, T Silzle, U Novak, K Seipel, S Rondeau, S Stüdeli, S Berardi Vilei, P Samaras, U Mey, C Driessen, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK. Nelfinavir and lenalidomide/dexamethasone in patients with lenalidomide-refractory multiple myeloma. A phase I/II Trial (SAKK 39/10). Blood cancer journal. 2019 Aug 27;9(9):70

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    PMID: 31455773

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