Prophylactic low-dose aspirin is effective antithrombotic therapy for combination treatments of thalidomide or lenalidomide in myeloma
Multiple myeloma (MM) patients have a propensity for thromboembolic events (TE), and treatment with thalidomide/dexamethasone or lenalidomide/dexamethasone increases this risk. This report describes the use of low-dose aspirin (81 mg) as primary thromboprophylaxis in three series of MM patients receiving thalidomide or lenalidomide with other drugs. In the first regimen (clarithromycin, thalidomide, dexamethasone), initiation of low-dose aspirin negated the occurrence of any further TE. In a second study, prophylactic aspirin given with thalidomide/dexamethasone resulted in a rate of TE similar to that seen with dexamethasone alone (without aspirin). A third study (n = 72) evaluated thrombosis rates with aspirin and a lenalidomide-containing regimen (clarithromycin, lenalidomide, dexamethasone). Of nine occurrences of thromboembolism, five were associated with aspirin interruption or poor compliance. Low-dose aspirin appears to reduce the incidence of thrombosis with these regimens. Routine use of aspirin as antithrombotic prophylaxis in MM patients receiving immunomodulatory drugs with corticosteroids is warranted.