5 Questions on Multiple Myeloma

December 20, 2016

Do you know the median survival of different risk groups for patients with multiple myeloma? How about the recommended frequency to observe patients with smoldering myeloma? Test your knowledge on these topics and more in our latest quiz.

Multiple myeloma accounts for just over 15% of all hematologic malignancies in the United States and is most frequently diagnosed in patients 65 to 74 years of age (median age = 69 years). Statistics show that rates are increasing an average of 0.8% annually, with death rates falling at the same percentage, a result of recent and more effective treatment options.

Question 1:

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The correct answer is: C. Lenalidomide/dexamethasone. All of the combinations are recommended as “preferred regimens” for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, the NCCN notes. However, only lenalidomide/dexamethasone is category 1 (high-level evidence); the others are category 2A (lower-level evidence). The guidelines also state, “triplet regimens should be used as the standard therapy for patients with multiple myeloma; however, elderly or frail patients may be treated with doublet regimens.”


Question 2:

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The correct answer is: B. 5 years. Patients in the good-risk group have an estimated median survival of 8 to 10 years, while for those at high risk, it is less than 2 years, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PDQ cancer information summary on the treatment of multiple myeloma.


Question 3:

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The correct answer is: B. 3- to 6-month. The NCCN also strongly recommends “enrolling eligible patients with smoldering myeloma in clinical trials.”


Question 4:

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The correct answer is: A. True. A large randomized trial found that monthly use of a bisphosphonate decreaseed pain and bone-related complications and preserved quality of life.


Question 5:

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The correct answer is: A. 7 months. The NCI’s PDQ cancer information summary about the treatment of multiple myeloma states, “after the introduction of chemotherapy, prognosis improved significantly with median survival of 24 to 30 months and a 10-year survival rate of 3%.” With the introduction of newer therapies, median survival now exceeds 45 to 60 months.