Multiple myeloma hub

what is Multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that begins in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. These cells are part of your immune system, which helps protect the body from germs and other harmful substances. In time, myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and in the solid parts of bones.


Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow.

latest program

Does Treatment Adherence in Myeloma Impact Outcomes?

Myeloma expert Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi of Mayo Clinic breaks down the importance of treatment adherence and disease management in multiple myeloma in order to get the maximum benefit. In Dr. Ailawadhi's own words: "In myeloma it has been shown again and again, if you use the right treatment for the right duration and you get a deep response, you are more likely to do better."

 

Programs

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Does Treatment Adherence in Myeloma Impact Outcomes?

Myeloma expert Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi of Mayo Clinic breaks down the importance of treatment adherence and disease management in multiple myeloma in order to get the maximum benefit. In Dr. Ailawadhi's own words: "In myeloma it has been shown again and again, if you use the right treatment for the right duration and you get a deep response, you are more likely to do better."

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ASH 2019: Good News for Myeloma Treatment Today, Still Addressing Race-Associated Risks

Respected myeloma expert, Dr. Ajay Kumar Nooka, provides an update from the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. Dr. Nooka shares why this is a good time in myeloma research and the important work that remains around myeloma treatment disparities for people of color.

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How Can Myeloma Patients Facing Disparities Be More Proactive in Their Care?

Dr. Victoria Vardell of the Huntsman Cancer Institute of Utah discusses her study where key findings reveal Black patients are less likely to receive a stem cell transplant (SCT) and encourages patients to ask questions of their providers until they have a complete understanding.

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2020 Shaping Up To Be Big Year for Multiple Myeloma Treatment

Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi of Mayo Clinic provides high-level highlights for multiple myeloma from the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

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ASH 2019: Disparities Around Accessing Health Technology Revealed for a Subset of Myeloma Patients

Is the cost of care in treating multiple myeloma higher for certain populations? In this Diverse Health Hub interview, Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi of Mayo Clinic, discusses disparities around access to care in multiple myeloma from the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

 

Symptoms

  • Bone pain

  • Nausea

  • Constipation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Frequent infections

  • Weight loss

  • Excessive thirst

  • Weakness and/or numbness in the arms and legs

  • Confusion

  • Abnormal bleeding

  • Weak bones that may break easily

  • Difficulty breathing

 

diagnosis

A diagnosis of multiple myeloma may be suspected based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. Additional testing can then be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. This may include:

The American Cancer Society offers more information regarding the diagnosis of multiple myeloma, including a summary of the many tests that may be recommended. Please click on the link to access this resource. 

 

Some affected people may have no suspicious signs or symptoms of multiple myeloma, especially in the early stages of the condition. In these cases, multiple myeloma is sometimes diagnosed by chance when a blood test or urine test is ordered to investigate another condition.

 

Types

Multiple myeloma has different types and subtypes. These types are based on the immunoglobulin (protein) produced by the myeloma cell. The various immunoglobulins have different functions in the body. Each immunoglobulin is made up of two heavy chains and two light chains.

 

The five types of heavy protein chains are G, A, D, E, and M.

The two types of light protein chains are kappa (κ) and lambda (λ).

 

Furthermore, there are different subtypes of myeloma.

Subtypes of immunoglobulins

  • IgG kappa

  • IgA kappa

  • IgD kappa

  • IgE kappa

  • IgM kappa

  • IgG lambda

  • IgA lambda

  • IgD lambda

  • IgE lambda

  • IgM lambda
     

 

stages

There are no standard staging systems for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), macroglobulinemia, and plasmacytoma.

 

After multiple myeloma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out the amount of cancer in the body.

 

The stage of multiple myeloma is based on the levels of beta-2-microglobulin and albumin in the blood

  • The following stages are used for multiple myeloma:

    • Stage I multiple myeloma

    • Stage II multiple myeloma

    • Stage III multiple myeloma

In stage I multiple myeloma, the blood levels are as follows:  beta-2-microglobulin level is lower than 3.5 mg/L; and albumin level is 3.5 g/dL or higher

In stage II multiple myeloma, the blood levels are in between the levels for stage I and stage III.

 

In stage III multiple myeloma, the blood level of beta-2-microglobulin is 5.5 mg/L or higher and the patient also has one of the following: high levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); or certain changes in the chromosomes.

 
 

Causes

Although the exact underlying cause of multiple myeloma is poorly understood, the specific symptoms of the condition result from abnormal and excessive growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells help the body fight infection by producing proteins called antibodies. In people with multiple myeloma, excess plasma cells form tumors in the bone, causing bones to become weak and easily broken. The abnormal growth of plasma cells also makes it more difficult for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets. The plasma cells produced in multiple myeloma produce abnormal antibodies that the immune system is unable to use. These abnormal antibodies build up in the body and cause a variety of problems. 


Factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma include increasing age, male sex, African American race, radiation exposure, a family history of the condition, obesity, and/or a personal history of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).

Risk Factors

More information coming soon.

 

Treatment

The treatment of multiple myeloma varies based on many factors including the age and general health of the affected person; the associated signs and symptoms; and the severity of the condition. In general, one or more of the following interventions may be used to treat multiple myeloma:

 
 

Clinical trials

More information coming soon.

Noted disparities

More information coming soon.

 

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