Recent advances in the mangement of multiple myeloma.


The management of multiple myeloma has undergone a major change during the past decade. Currently, patients < 65 years of age with advanced disease (stage II-III) are best treated with initial chemotherapy (3-4 cycles of vincristine, adriamycin and dexamethasone, or vincristine, adriamycin and methyl prednisolone, or thalidomide and dexamethasone followed by high dose chemotherapy with autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. More than 50% of patients achieve complete response following this approach. The results of a number of nonrandomized and randomized studies indicate that treatment with high dose chemotherapy followed by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation is associated with improved overall and event-free survival compared with conventional chemotherapy. The absence of chromosome 13 abnormalities, serum albumin levels > 3.5 g/dl and low serum b-2 microglobulin are associated with a better outcome. Almost all patients with significant bone disease or osteoporosis are candidates for therapy with bisphosphonates. About one-third of patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma benefit from therapy with thalidomide or bortezomib (a proteosome inhibitor). Recent work in the immunotherapy of myeloma suggests that some novel immune-based approaches might be useful in the management. The application of cytogenetics and molecular genetics, especially gene expression profiling, are likely to be areas of active research in future studies.

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@article{Kumar2004RecentAI, title={Recent advances in the mangement of multiple myeloma.}, author={Lalit Kumar and Prabha Vikram and Vinod Kochupillai}, journal={Seminars in hematology}, year={2004}, volume={41 2 Suppl 4}, pages={21-6} }