Background: Bortezomib is approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma and a role has been suggested in the treatment of systemic AL amyloidosis (AL).Methods: In this phase 1 dose-escalation portion of the first prospective study of single-agent bortezomib in AL, 31 patients with relapsed disease, including 14 (45%) with cardiac involvement, received bortezomib in seven dose cohorts on once-weekly (0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6 mg/m 2) and twice-weekly (0.7, 1.0, 1.3 mg/m 2) schedules. Electrocardiographic, Holter and echocardiographic studies were evaluated in all patients to determine safety and response.Results: During therapy (median treatment period 210 days), no patient developed significant ventricular or supraventricular rhythm disturbance on 24-h Holter monitoring; however, no patient satisfied study criteria for cardiac response using echocardiographic assessment or New York Heart Association classification. Seven patients (23%) had a ≥10% fall in left ventricular ejection fraction, but only one met criteria for cardiac deterioration. The predominant cardiac adverse events were peripheral edema (23%), orthostatic hypotension (13%) and hypotension (10%). Two patients developed grade 3 congestive heart failure, which resolved following treatment interruption. In this Phase 1 portion, the maximum tolerated dose of bortezomib on either schedule was not reached. Hematologic responses occurred in 14 patients (45%), including seven (23%) complete responses. In non-responders mean left ventricular wall thickness increased during the course of treatment.Conclusions: AL is frequently rapidly progressive; in these patients who had relapsed or progressed following previous conventional therapies, these results suggest that bortezomib may slow the progression of cardiac amyloid with limited toxicity. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Physicians. All rights reserved.
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