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Myelomatosis: Comparison of Melphalan and Cyclophosphamide Therapy

Br Med J 1971; 1 doi: (Published 20 March 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;1:640

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Untreated patients suffering from myelomatosis were allocated at random for treatment by the daily oral administration of either cyclophosphamide or melphalan: 141 received cyclophosphamide and 133 melphalan. The trial began on 1 October 1964 and the intake of patients continued until 31 July 1968. The statistical analysis includes follow-up of the surviving patients to 31 May 1970.

The most important single factor affecting the prognosis was the blood urea concentration at presentation. The median survival of the 125 patients whose blood urea concentration was less than 40 mg/100 ml was 33 months, compared with 20 months for the 96 patients whose blood urea concentration was 40-79 mg/100 ml and two months for the 55 patients whose blood urea concentration was 80 mg/100 ml or more.

The median survival periods of the 114 patients in the cyclophosphamide group and of the 105 in the melphalan group whose blood urea concentration at presentation was less than 80 mg/100 ml were 27 and 23 months respectively. The difference is not statistically significant.