Multiple myeloma (MM) has a double incidence in African-American (AA) than in non-AA patients and previous studies have shown a higher mortality in the former patient population. Here, we retrospectively analyzed the results of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in 38 AA and 32 non-AA consecutive patients. The two groups were comparable at diagnosis for age, stage of the disease, cytogenetic abnormalities, β2 microglobulin and albumin blood levels, and plasma cell marrow infiltration. The rates of complete and partial response observed in AA and non-AA patients after induction chemotherapy (9 and 42 vs 13 and 33%) and at 2 months (31 and 25 vs 30 and 20%) following ASCT were similar. At 6 months after ASCT, a greater relapse rate was observed in non-AA patients (P = 0.009). At a median follow-up of 26 months, AA patients had a greater event-free survival (P = 0.02) than non-AA patients, whereas overall survival was comparable in the two groups. The initial finding that AA patients with MM, compared to non-AA patients, had more prolonged responses and comparable survival after ASCT suggests that intensified chemotherapy is equally effective in patients of various ethnicities.
- Multiple myeloma
- Response rate