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Literature search results

A total number of 2,529 literatures were identified through a comprehensive literature search, which included 315 clinical trials among which nine articles were considered worth of an overall evaluation. After the titles and abstracts were investigated, six articles17–22 were excluded, because two of them were subgroup analysis of two independent Phase III trials, two articles were duplicate reports of two other included articles, one article did not address consolidation or maintenance therapy, and one article was excluded since the key end points of interest (eg, OS, PFS, after consolidation and maintenance treatment) were not reported. Hence, three articles were finally included in this meta-analysis (Figure 1).

(To view a larger version of Figure 1, click here.)

Description of included trials

Bortezomib-based regimen was administered as consolidation therapy in two trials11,12 and maintenance treatment in the other trial.13 The methodological quality of each study assessed according to the Jadad scale was shown in Table 1, and the characteristics of the eligible studies were described in Table 2. All patients (n=1,518) in the three studies received ASCT preceded by high-dose therapy (HDT), then the post-transplantation therapy with bortezomib-based or non-bortezomib-based regimens were administered. Five hundred and seventy five patients had an exposure history of bortezomib-based induction therapy, and the remaining 945 patients were naïve to bortezomib-containing treatment (Table 3). Three-hundred and twenty six patients received two ASCTs and 499 patients underwent only one ASCT, while for the rest of the patients the times of ASCT that they had received after induction therapy could not be determined. The median duration of follow-up ranged from 30.4 to 40 months while the median duration of bortezomib treatment varied from 2 to 24 months.

(To view a larger version of Table 2, click here.)  

(To view a larger version of Table 3, click here.)