How I treat multiple myeloma in younger patients

  • Stewart A
  • Richardson P
  • San-Miguel J
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Therapeutic options for multiple myeloma (MM) patients have changed quickly in recent years and uncertainty has arisen about optimal approaches to therapy. A reasonable goal of MM treatment in younger "transplant eligible" patients is to initiate therapy with a target goal of durable complete remission, and the anticipated consequence of long-term disease control. [corrected] To achieve this goal we recommend induction therapy with multi-agent combination chemotherapies (usually selected from bortezomib, lenalidomide, thalidomide, cyclophosphamide, and corticosteriods) which when employed together elicit frequent, rapid, and deep responses. We recommend consolidation with high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation in the majority of patients willing and able to undergo this procedure and subsequent maintenance therapy in those failing to achieve a complete response or at high risk for early relapse based on prognostic, genetically defined risk factors. Defining genetic risk for early relapse is therefore an important aspect of early diagnostic testing and attention to minimizing expected toxicities once therapy begins is critical in ensuring the efficacy of modern combination therapy approaches. When access to newer drugs is restricted participation in clinical trials should be pursued.

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  • A. Keith Stewart

  • Paul G. Richardson

  • Jesus F. San-Miguel

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