Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses antibodies to attack the cancer cells. It is usually reserved for patients who have not had success with other treatments. Daratumumab (Darzalex) and elotuzumab (Empliciti) are two antibodies that target multiple myeloma cells.
Radiation therapy may also help you. A beam is directed from a machine to a bone or other affected part of the body. The rays kill plasma cells, helping to lessen pain and strengthen the weakened bone.
Research is ongoing, including clinical trials to identify more effective chemotherapy drugs and combinations.
What to Expect
Multiple myeloma varies widely between people. Some will live for years with few symptoms. With others, the condition gets worse quickly. Identifying the forms of multiple myeloma is often challenging for doctors.
Systems have been developed that predict survival rates. The simplest and most common uses the blood levels of two substances: albumin and beta-2-microglobulin. A higher albumin level and a lower beta-2-microglobulin level suggest a better chance for longer survival.
Other systems use multiple lab or DNA tests in plasma cells.
Knowing how aggressive your multiple myeloma is can help you and your doctor find the best plan for you.