Treatment Option Overview for Plasma Cell Neoplasms
The major challenge in treating plasma cell neoplasms is to separate the stable, asymptomatic group of patients who do not require immediate treatment from patients with progressive, symptomatic myeloma who should be treated immediately.[1,2] Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or smoldering myeloma must be distinguished from progressive myeloma.
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Asymptomatic patients with multiple myeloma who have no lytic bone lesions and normal renal function may be initially observed safely outside the context of a clinical trial.[1,3,4]
Symptomatic Plasma Cell Disorders
Treatment should be given to patients with symptomatic advanced disease.
Treatment should be directed at reducing the tumor cell burden and reversing any complications of disease, such as renal failure, infection, hyperviscosity, or hypercalcemia, with appropriate medical management. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Hypercalcemia for more information.)
Response criteria have been developed for patients on clinical trials.
Current therapy for patients with symptomatic myeloma can be divided into the following categories:
Consolidation therapies, which are less applicable for the very elderly.
Supportive care, such as bisphosphonates. (For more information on supportive care therapies, such as bisphosphonates, refer to the PDQ summary on Pain.)
He Y, Wheatley K, Clark O, et al.: Early versus deferred treatment for early stage multiple myeloma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD004023, 2003.
Kyle RA, Remstein ED, Therneau TM, et al.: Clinical course and prognosis of smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma. N Engl J Med 356 (25): 2582-90, 2007.
Riccardi A, Mora O, Tinelli C, et al.: Long-term survival of stage I multiple myeloma given chemotherapy just after diagnosis or at progression of the disease: a multicentre randomized study. Cooperative Group of Study and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma. Br J Cancer 82 (7): 1254-60, 2000.
Hjorth M, Hellquist L, Holmberg E, et al.: Initial versus deferred melphalan-prednisone therapy for asymptomatic multiple myeloma stage I--a randomized study. Myeloma Group of Western Sweden. Eur J Haematol 50 (2): 95-102, 1993.
Durie BG, Harousseau JL, Miguel JS, et al.: International uniform response criteria for multiple myeloma. Leukemia 20 (9): 1467-73, 2006.