Is there still a role for allogeneic stem-cell transplantation in multiple myeloma?

William I Bensinger
Best Practice & Research. Clinical Haematology 2007, 20 (4): 783-95
Despite significant improvements in survival for multiple myeloma patients through autologous stem-cell transplantation (SCT) and the introduction of novel drugs, the disease remains incurable for all but a small fraction of patients. Only allogeneic SCT is potentially curative, due in part to a graft-versus-myeloma effect. High transplant-related mortality with allogeneic SCT is currently the major limitation to wider use of this potentially curative modality. Mortality can be reduced through the use of lower-intensity conditioning regimens which allow engraftment of allogeneic stem cells, but this comes at a cost of higher rates of disease progression and relapse. Promising studies to improve outcomes of allogeneic transplants include the use of more intensive non-myeloablative conditioning regimens, tandem transplants, peripheral blood cells, graft engineering to improve the graft-versus-myeloma activity while reducing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), post-transplant maintenance, and targeted conditioning therapies such as bone-seeking radioisotopes.

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