Case Reports

Simultaneous Cases of Carfilzomib-Induced Thrombotic Microangiopathy in 2 Patients With Multiple Myeloma

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Background: In patients with multiple myeloma, thrombotic microangiopathy is a rare adverse event associated with proteasome inhibitors, such as bortezomib, carfilzomib, and ixazomib.

Case Presentation: Two patients with multiple myeloma who presented with carfilzomib-induced thrombotic microangiopathy received eculizumab with subsequent stabilization of renal function.

Conclusions: Given the overall rarity of this adverse event, the simultaneous presentation of these 2 cases was unexpected. These cases underscores the need for heightened awareness in clinical practice of t hrombotic microangiopathy . The potential role of eculizumab as a therapeutic treatment in the setting of thrombotic microangiopathy requires further investigation.



As a class of drugs, proteasome inhibitors are known to rarely cause drug-induced thrombotic microangiopathy (DITMA). In particular, carfilzomib is a second-generation, irreversible proteasome inhibitor approved for the treatment of relapsed, refractory multiple myeloma (MM) in combination with other therapeutic agents.1 Although generally well tolerated, carfilzomib has been associated with serious adverse events such as cardiovascular toxicity and DITMA.2-4 Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is a life-threatening disorder characterized by thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and end-organ damage.5 Its occurrence secondary to carfilzomib has been reported only rarely in clinical trials of MM, and the most effective management of the disorder as well as the concurrent risk factors that contribute to its development remain incompletely understood.6,7 As a result, given both the expanding use of carfilzomib in practice and the morbidity of TMA, descriptions of carfilzomib-induced TMA from the real-world setting continue to provide important contributions to our understanding of the disorder.

At our US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center, 2 patients developed severe carfilzomib-induced TMA within days of one another. The presentation of simultaneous cases was highly unexpected and offered the unique opportunity to compare clinical features in real time. Here, we describe our 2 cases in detail, review their presentations and management in the context of the prior literature, and discuss potential insights gained into the disease.

Case Presentation

Case 1

A 78-year-old male patient was diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance in 2012 that progressed to Revised International Staging System stage II IgG-κ MM in 2016 due to worsening anemia with a hemoglobin level < 10 g/dL (Table 1). He was treated initially with 8 cycles of first-line bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone, to which he achieved a partial response with > 50% reduction in serum M-protein. He then received 3 cycles of maintenance bortezomib until relapse, at which time he was switched to second-line therapy consisting of carfilzomib 20 mg/m2 on days 1 and 2 and 56 mg/m2 on days 8, 9, 15, and 16 for cycle 1, followed by 56 mg/m2 on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 for subsequent cycles plus dexamethasone 20 mg twice weekly every 28 days.


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