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

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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 or lenalidomide therapy.
  • Targeted therapy with a proteasome inhibitor (bortezomib).

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with multiple myeloma. 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.

Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Treatment of refractory multiple myeloma may include the following:

  • Watchful waiting for patients whose disease is stable.
  • A different treatment than treatment already given, for patients whose tumor kept growing during treatment. (See Multiple Myeloma treatment options.)

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with refractory multiple myeloma. 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.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 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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