JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Multiple myeloma--an update on diagnosis and treatment.

Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell (PC) malignancy characterized by the accumulation of monoclonal PCs in the bone marrow and the production of large amounts of a monoclonal immunoglobulin or paraprotein. In the past years, new approaches in the diagnosis and treatment were introduced aiming to identify high-risk patients who need proper anti-myeloma treatment. Intensive therapy including autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the new agents bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide have improved patients' responses. Further optimalization of the different treatment schedules in well-defined patient groups may prolong their survival. Patient stratification is currently based on patient characteristics, extent of myeloma disease, and associated cytogenetic and laboratory anomalies. More and more gene expression studies are introduced to stratify patients and to individualize therapy.

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