[Therapy of multiple myeloma. What is confirmed?]

D Peest, A Ganser, H Einsele
Der Internist 2013, 54 (12): 1434, 1436-8, 1440-2
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant plasma cell disorder with clonal development. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) are precursor stages of MM and both have to be differentiated from MM which is characterized by organ complications. High-dose chemotherapy combined with autologous stem cell support is the therapy of choice for most patients in order to achieve long-lasting complete remission with few symptoms, prevention of new organ complications and survival prolongation. Patients who cannot be intensively treated due to advanced age and comorbidities should be treated with low-dose chemotherapy, normally alkylating agents, for improved quality of life and also survival prolongation. Including thalidomide, lenalidomide, pomalidomide, bortezomib or carfilzomib in both high-dose and low-dose chemotherapy concepts results in a significantly higher remission rate and longer survival. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is associated with a relatively high mortality during the first year after transplantation which will be refined with the aim of healing in various trials and is an alternative treatment approach for selected patients. A treatment concept for MM patients has to be individually complemented by local irradiation, administration of bisphosphonates and supportive infusions of immunoglobulins.

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