In 2016, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) wanted to find out whether elotuzumab has any advantages or disadvantages compared to the standard treatments for multiple myeloma in people who have already had at least one treatment.
But the manufacturer didn’t provide any suitable data with which to do the assessment.
In 2019, IQWiG looked into whether elotuzumab has any advantages or disadvantages compared to the standard treatments for multiple myeloma that has become worse despite previous treatments.
For the purpose of this assessment, the manufacturer provided one study involving 117 patients. One half of these patients had treatment with elotuzumab in combination with the standard treatment of pomalidomide and dexamethasone, while the other half had only the standard treatment. All of the participants in the study had multiple myeloma that had got worse despite having had at least 2 previous treatments (including lenalidomide and/or proteasome inhibitors). The following results were found for this group of people:
What are the advantages of elotuzumab?
Life expectancy: The study suggests that elotuzumab has an advantage here. While the people who were given the standard treatment passed away after about 17 months on average (median value), the people who also received elotuzumab passed away only after 30 months at the earliest.
Severe side effects: The study suggests that elotuzumab has an advantage here, but only in people who haven't had more than 3 previous treatments: Severe side effects occurred in about 57 out of 100 people who took elotuzumab, compared to nearly 89 out of 100 people who had the standard treatment.
There was no difference in people who had 4 or more previous treatments.
What are the disadvantages of elotuzumab?
The available data shows no disadvantages for elotuzumab when compared with the standard treatment.
There was no difference in terms of:
- General health
- Severity of symptoms
- Limitations in everyday life due to symptoms
- Treatment stopped due to side effects
What remains unanswered?
The manufacturer didn't provide any data about quality of life.