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."

ASH2019, deep response, longer response, Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi, Mayo Clinic, treatment adherence, multiple myeloma, myeloma regimen

About this expert

Sikander Ailawadhi, MD

Associate Professor in the division of Hematology Oncology, Department of Medicine

Mayo Clinic


Rebecca Law: 

Let's talk about treatment adherence for myeloma patients. What have you and your colleagues learned about the impact on outcomes related to your study?

Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi: 

Treatment adherence is a known phenomenon or a known issue in any of the diseases or healthcare problems whenever the treatment is given chronically. So we can imagine that if a patient had to be given treatment for 6 months, it's easy to make sure that they stay on the treatment, they take it and they get the benefit. But if a patient -- like a patient with multiple myeloma -- is expected to be on treatment for their whole life after their diagnosis, it's important to figure out how the patients may stay on treatment.

Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi:

There's been data presented from real world analysis, that while for example, a particular regimen which has shown -- lets say -- four years of benefit on a clinical trial, that same regimen when it's used in the real world setting, shows a much shorter benefit. And that is directly associated with the fact that patients may not get the same treatment for a long enough duration.

Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi:

I don't say that it's necessarily a patient's mistake, and they're not taking the treatment correctly. Sometimes even the physicians may say "well, you've responded, let me back scale or downscale the drugs so that we can save up something for later." But 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're more likely to do better.

So, while we have all these regimens that are giving us benefit in the clinical trial settings, those regimens are giving the benefit to the patients but not for long enough. So staying on the treatments and managing the side effects correctly is important so we can get the maximum benefit from a regimen.


Rebecca Law

Rebecca graduated from University of San Francisco with a degree in applied economics, focusing on marketing, program management and event management. Her experience is unmatched when it comes to aligning program scope with strategic business objectives. Rebecca has an extensive background in managing marketing campaigns and is highly skilled at communicating with a variety of audiences.

Related Content


Microcosms of Injustice Found Throughout Sickle Cell Disease

Dr. Campbell describes the inequities and injustices throughout the sickle cell community. He presents an example of a patient who almost died because she was not listened to. Physicians must listen to patients with sickle cell disease because their complaints may be a preceding symptom of severe complications.


Is Sickle Cell Disease a Genetic Defense Against COVID-19?

Dr. Msaouel answers questions from the Sickle Cell community. If the disease or trait evolved as a defense against Malaria, does the reported effectiveness of anti-malaria drugs like hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) mean that sickle cell patients have natural resistance to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19?


Are Sickle Cell Disease Patients More Susceptible to Renal Medullary Carcinoma?

Dr. Pavlos Msaouel of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses whether patients with sickle cell disease or who carry the sickle cell trait may be at increased risk for renal medullary carcinoma (RMC).

The information on Diverse Health Hub is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the expert advice of your healthcare team.

© 2020 Diverse Health Hub