Use of autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation as initial therapy in multiple myeloma and the impact of socio-geo-demographic factors in the era of novel agents

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Very effective combination chemotherapy using novel agents has become available in multiple myeloma (MM). Its impact on the use of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHCT) as part of initial therapy is unknown. Using the National Cancer Data Base, we studied the rate of upfront AHCT use among 137,409 newly diagnosed MM patients from 1998 to 2010 in the United States and determined whether disparity exists among various sociodemographic as well as geographic subgroups. Overall, 12,378 (9.0%) patients received AHCT as part of initial treatment. The use of upfront AHCT increased steadily from 5.2% in 1998 to 12.1% in 2010 (trend test, P < 0.001), with no sign of plateau. This was seen across all socio-geo-demographic subgroups except among patients treated in the Northeast where the rate fell from 8.7% in 1998 to 6.6% in 2010. In multivariable analysis, patients with the following characteristics were the least likely to receive AHCT (odds ratio): year of diagnosis from 1998 to 2003 before the era of novel agents (0.67), older age (0.35), Black race (0.58), Hispanic ethnicity (0.78), low level of education or annual household income (0.55), residence in a metro area (0.66), no or unknown medical insurance (0.30), treatment at a community cancer center (0.16), and treatment facility located in the Northeast region (0.54). Even after the introduction of novel agents, the rate of upfront AHCT in MM continues to increase annually. Significant disparities exist dependent on demographic, social, and geographic factors. Am. J. Hematol. 89:825–830, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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