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Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignancy of terminally differentiated B cells/plasma cells and is primarily located in the bone marrow. Symptomatic multiple myeloma typically presents with osteolyses, anemia, reduced renal function, and/or hypercalcemia. In the case of such MM-related end organ damage, urgent systemic treatment is indicated. In order to prevent end organ damage, current guidelines now recommend treatment initiation already when certain biomarkers are met. Current first-line treatment is based on proteasome inhibition and immunomodulation. Eligible patients still benefit from the addition of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. Radiotherapy and orthopedic interventions play an important role in the treatment of localized skeletal complications. For relapsed MM, five novel agents have been approved in Europe during the last two years. These are second-generation proteasome inhibitors (carfilzomib, ixazomib) as well as first-in-class monoclonal antibodies (daratumumab, elotuzumab) and a histone deacetylase inhibitor (panobinostat). Triple combinations based on the established regimens lenalidomide/dexamethasone and bortezomib/dexamethasone plus one of the novel agents have been shown to significantly prolong progression-free survival. Median overall survival of patients with MM has doubled since the turn of the millennium.
PMID: 29098319 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]