Newest treatment for multiple myeloma

Myeloma, or multiple myeloma, is a bone marrow cancer. The spongy tissue at the center of some bones, known as bone marrow, is where the body’s blood cells are produced.

Multiple myeloma is so named because the disease often affects multiple body sections, including the spine, skull, pelvis, and ribs.

Multiple myeloma symptoms







Myeloma does not show any symptoms in its early stages. A regular blood or urine test is also the only way to suspect or diagnose it.

Myeloma can lead to a number of complications, including:

  • A dull ache or tenderness in your bones
  • Anemia induces tiredness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
  • Infections that occur repeatedly
  • Bruising and unusual bleeding, such as repeated nosebleeds, bleeding gums, and heavy periods are less common.

Myeloma rarely causes a lump or tumor. Instead, it hurts the bones and has an effect on the body.

Multiple myeloma causes

The precise cause of multiple myeloma is unknown. However, multiple myeloma and a disorder known as monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain meaning have a similar relationship (MGUS).

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MGUS is a disorder in which the blood contains an abundance of protein molecules known as immunoglobulin. This has no signs and does not need medication.

Approximately 1 in every 100 people with MGUS develops multiple myeloma each year. Because there is no known way to delay or prevent this, people with MGUS will undergo regular cancer screenings.

Multiple myeloma is also more common in the following populations:

  • Men
  • Adults over 60 – most cases are diagnosed at around the age of 70, and cases affecting people under the age of 40 are rare
  • Black people – multiple myeloma is about twice as common in black populations than white and Asian populations
  • People with a family history of MGUS or multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma treatment

Treatment may also keep the disease under control for years, but most forms of multiple myeloma are incurable. The quest for new drugs is still going on.

Multiple myeloma is typically treated with:

  • Anti-myeloma drugs to suppress myeloma cells or regulate the cancer if it resurfaces (relapses)
  • medicines and procedures to prevent and treat problems caused by myeloma – such as bone pain, fractures and anaemia

You could be asked to participate in a clinical trial as part of your care to help doctors find new therapies for multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma treatment may help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Myeloma, on the other hand, is typically incurable. This means that if the cancer reappears, further care will be needed (a relapse).

If you don’t need treatment, you’ll be watched for signs that the cancer is progressing. If you do need medical attention, the most popular treatment options are listed below.

Speaking about your condition for multiple myeloma







If you have multiple myeloma, you’ll be treated by a multidisciplinary team headed by a specialist haematologist who specializes in the disease.

The team will address the situation and make suggestions on the best course of action. However, you will have the final say on whether or not to start care.

Bringing myeloma under control

Multiple myeloma can be treated in one of two ways:

  • Non-intensive – for patients who are older or less healthy (this is more common)
  • Intensive – for patients who are younger or more physically fit

A mixture of anti-myeloma drugs is used in both non-intensive and intensive therapies. Intensive therapy, on the other hand, requires higher doses of medication and is accompanied by a stem cell transplant.

The medicines usually include a chemotherapy medicine, a steroid medicine, and either thalidomide or bortezomib.

 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy medications are used to destroy myeloma cells. Multiple myeloma is mostly treated with a combination of medications.

These medications are usually taken as tablets. The following are examples of moderate side effects:

  • Infection risk has increased
  • Feeling unwell
  • The act of vomiting
  • Hair thinning
  • Nerve degradation (neuropathy)

Your doctor will send you advice and information about your chances of developing dementia.

Steroids

Corticosteroids aid in the destruction of myeloma cells and improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Dexamethasone and prednisolone are the two most common forms of steroids used to treat myeloma.

Steroids are taken orally after a meal. The following are examples of potential side effects:

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Increased appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Problems sleeping (insomnia)

Thalidomide

Thalidomide can assist in the death of myeloma cells. Every day, you take a tablet – usually in the evening because it can make you sleepy.

The following are some other typical side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Rashes
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)

Since thalidomide can cause birth defects, it should not be used by pregnant women, and a reliable type of contraception should be used instead.

Bortezomib

Bortezomib (Velcade) works by causing protein to build up within myeloma cells, which helps them die.

There are some restrictions on who will receive bortezomib, but this will be discussed with you by a member of your care team.

Injections are used to administer the drug, which is normally administered under the skin. The following are examples of potential side effects:

  • Exhaustion
  • diarrhea
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)

Study and clinical trials



New therapies for multiple myeloma are being developed, as well as ways to increase the effectiveness of existing ones. You could be asked to participate in a clinical trial as part of the care to assist with this.

In most clinical trials, a new medication is compared to a current one to see if the new treatment is more or less successful.

Newest treatment for multiple myeloma

Newest treatment for multiple myeloma

Mayo Clinic