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Plasma Cell Neoplasms (Including Multiple Myeloma) Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Plasma Cell Neoplasms

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance

Treatment of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is usually watchful waiting. Regular blood tests to check the level of M protein in the blood and physical exams to check for signs or symptoms of cancer will be done.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Isolated Plasmacytoma of Bone

Standard treatment of isolated plasmacytoma of bone is usually radiation therapy to the bone lesion.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with isolated plasmacytoma of bone. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Extramedullary Plasmacytoma

Standard treatment of extramedullary plasmacytoma may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the tumor and nearby lymph nodes.
  • Surgery, usually followed by radiation therapy.
  • Watchful waiting after initial treatment, followed by radiation therapy, surgery, or chemotherapy if the tumor grows or causes symptoms.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with extramedullary plasmacytoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Multiple Myeloma

Patients without symptoms may not need treatment. When symptoms appear, the treatment of multiple myeloma may be done in phases:

Induction therapy: This is the first phase of treatment. Its goal is to reduce the amount of disease, and may include one or more of the following:
  • Corticosteroid therapy.
  • Thalidomide or lenalidomide therapy.
  • Targeted therapy with a proteasome inhibitor (bortezomib).
  • Chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of different combinations of treatment.
Consolidation chemotherapy: This is the second phase of treatment. Treatment in the consolidation phase is to kill any remaining cancer cells. High-dose chemotherapy is followed by either:
  • one or two autologous stem cell transplants, in which the patient's stem cells from the blood or bone marrow are used; or
  • one allogeneic stem cell transplant, in which the patient receives stem cells from the blood or bone marrow of a donor.
Maintenance therapy: After the initial treatment, maintenance therapy is often given to help keep the disease in remission for a longer time. Several types of treatment are being studied for this use, including the following:
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Biologic therapy with interferon.
  • Corticosteroid therapy.
  • Thalidomide therapy.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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