Author | S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD

Articles

Management of Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) and Smoldering Multiple Myeloma (SMM)

June 15, 2011

Observation is the standard of care. However, clinical trials are ongoing to determine whether early therapy with newer agents can prolong the time to progression-and most importantly, prolong survival.

Emerging Therapies for Multiple Myeloma

April 30, 2009

Developments in the understanding of multiple myeloma biology have revolutionized our approach to therapy, leading to meaningful improvements in survival.[1] It is becoming increasingly clear that like all tumors, myeloma is a heterogeneous disorder, with different cytogenetic abnormalities, disease kinetics, response to therapy, and prognosis.[2,3] Therefore, a “one size fits all” approach to therapy is no longer tenable for this disease.[4,5] In parallel with this novel understanding of disease biology has been the discovery of novel classes of agents such as the immunomodulatory agents (IMiDs)[6,7] and proteasome inhibitors (eg, bortezomib [Velcade])[8] that alone have significant activity against the disease and more so when used in combination with other agents.

Anthracyclines Survive Targeted Therapy

November 01, 2007

Liposomal doxorubicin received FDA approval for use in combination with bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma who have not previously received bortezomib and have received at least one prior therapy.

New Questions About Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma: Review 2

September 01, 2006

Multiple myeloma is now the most common indication for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in North America, with over 5,000 transplants performed yearly (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research [CIBMTR] data). While the role of ASCT as initial therapy in multiple myeloma has been established by randomized studies, newer therapies are challenging the traditional paradigm. The availability of novel induction agents and newer risk stratification tools, and the increasing recognition of durability of remissions are changing the treatment paradigm. However, even with arduous therapy designed to produce more complete remissions—for example, tandem autologous transplants—we have seen no plateau in survival curves. A tandem autologous procedure followed by maintenance therapy may be performed in an attempt to sustain remission. Sequential autologous transplants followed by nonmyeloablative allotransplants are pursued with the hope of "curing" multiple myeloma. We examine how the key challenges of increasing the response rates and maintaining responses are being addressed using more effective induction and/or consolidation treatments and the need for maintenance therapies after ASCT. We argue that given the biologic heterogeneity of multiple myeloma, risk-adapted transplant approaches are warranted. While the role of curative-intent, dose-intense toxic therapy is still controversial, conventional myeloablative allogeneic transplants need to be reexamined as an option in high-risk aggressive myeloma, given improvements in supportive care and transplant-related mortality.