In a nutshell
This study evaluated the outcomes of patients with recurrent multiple myeloma (MM) after a stem cell transplant (SCT). This study concluded that these patients had a lower quality of life up to 2 years after treatment.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the bone marrow that can lead to abnormal immune cells. For patients with cancer that has come back, salvage SCT has continued to be a key part of treatment. Salvage therapy is the treatment of cancer that came back after initial treatment. This is different from consolidation therapy. This is the treatment of any cancer still present after initial treatment. It aims at killing any cancer cells left in the body.
After initial treatment, many patients with MM may develop various symptoms or experience side effects. These can be a burden and decrease a patient’s quality of life. The impact of salvage SCT on the quality of life of these patients in the years after the transplant remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study had 174 patients. 89 patients received salvage autologous SCT. 85 patients received consolidation therapy that did not involve SCT. Patients were followed-up for an average of 52 months.
At 100 days after treatment, patients in the consolidation therapy group rated their overall health status higher than patients who had salvage SCT. This difference decreased dramatically by 6 months after treatment. At 2 years, there was little difference between both groups.
At 6 months after treatment, patients who had salvage SCT reported having more side effects than the consolidation therapy group. After 2 years, there was little difference between both groups. At 6 months and up to 2 years after treatment, patients who had salvage SCT reported more pain during daily life than patients in the consolidation therapy group. However, pain did not significantly predict survival outcomes.
Patients in the salvage SCT group who reported having fewer side effects had a significantly lower risk of tumor growth or spread (76%).
The bottom line
This study concluded that patients with recurrent MM had a lower quality of life up to 2 years after salvage SCT. The authors suggest that patients who reported fewer side effects had a lower risk of tumor growth or spread.
The fine print
This study used questionnaires to collect self-reported data from patients. This may bias the results. More studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Journal of clinical oncology
Apr 10, 2019
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