Results of a meta-regression analysis have shown that, contrary to popular opinion, there is no association between conventional response outcomes, such as complete response (CR) or very good partial response (VGPR), and survival in newly diagnosed myeloma patients. Published recently in the European Journal of Haematology, the researchers explored the relationship between response to initial treatment and survival in myeloma patients based on data from 63 randomised clinical trials. They found that meta-regression analyses failed to show any link between CR or VGPR with either overall survival or progression-free survival regardless of whether they underwent high-dose therapy and stem cell transplantation or not. The authors questioned the use of CR as a primary outcome in myeloma clinical trials and suggested that other markers such as minimal residual disease might provide a more reliable surrogate endpoint and should be incorporated into future prospective trials.


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