The Treatment of Elderly Patients With Multiple Myeloma: Is More Better?
October 15, 2010
The variety of treatment options available to patients of all ages who have multiple myeloma has improved considerably in the past decade. However, elderly patients have benefited more than patients of other ages. Because elderly patients, as a group, are usually not offered autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) as a treatment option, they have been unable to benefit from the wide application of this technique, first introduced in the late 1980s. In the past 8 years, however, thalidomide, bortezomib, and very recently lenalidomide, when combined with conventional doses of alkylators and corticosteroids, have produced marked improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in elderly patients. Harousseau has thoroughly reviewed the important studies documenting these benefits for this population.