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The proteasome inhibitors (PIs), carfilzomib and bortezomib, are widely used to treat myeloma but head-to-head comparisons have produced conflicting results. We compared the activity of these PIs in combination with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (KCd vs VCd) in second line treatment using fixed duration therapy and evaluated the efficacy of carfilzomib maintenance. MUKfive was a phase II controlled, parallel group trial that randomised patients (2:1) to KCd (201) or VCd (99); responding patients on carfilzomib were randomised to maintenance carfilzomib (69) or no further treatment (72). Primary endpoints were (i) very good partial response (VGPR, non-inferiority, OR 0.8) at 24 weeks, and (ii) progression-free survival (PFS). More participants achieved ≥VGPR with carfilzomib compared to bortezomib (40.2% vs. 31.9%, OR=1.48, 90%CI:0.95,2.31; non-inferior), with a trend for particular benefit in adverse risk disease. KCd was associated with higher overall response (≥PR, 84.0% vs. 68.1%, OR=2.72, 90%CI:1.62,4.55, p=0.001). Neuropathy (grade ≥3 or ≥2 with pain) was more common with bortezomib (19.8% vs. 1.5%, p.

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