In a nutshell
This study compared the effects of stem cell transplant to other newer treatments for recently diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). The main finding was patients who received stem cell transplant had better outcomes than those who did not.
Stem cell transplant involves the transfer of cells to a patient. This is an effective treatment for patients who have recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Improvements in medicines have resulted in the development of other treatments that are very effective but have less side-effects. Doctors now consider whether patients with MM should undergo stem cell transplant. It is important to investigate the effects of stem cell transplant in comparison to other treatments for recently diagnosed MM.
Methods & findings
Thirteen thousand, four hundred and ninety-four patients with newly diagnosed MM were included. Patients were diagnosed between 1998-2012. Patients were treated with stem cell transplant or with anti-cancer drugs such as proteasome inhibitors. Patient health records were analysed. Details investigated included date of diagnosis, gender, previous treatment.
The average time that a patient underwent stem cell transplant after diagnosis was 9.4 months. About 21% of patients underwent stem cell transplant. About 37.6% of patients who underwent stem cell transplant were under 60 and 11.5% of patients were between 60-79. Patients who underwent transplant within a year were 33% less likely to survive than patients who received transplant a year after diagnosis. The average time before cancer worsening after stem cell transplant was 72.9 months. For patients who did not receive stem cell transplant, cancer worsening was detected at 47.6 months on average.
The bottom line
The main finding of this study was cancer worsening in patients who received stem cell transplant for newly diagnosed MM was later than those who did not undergo stem cell transplant.
The fine print
This study included only patients who met specific participation criteria. Therefore, the results may not be applicable to the general patient population.
If you have questions about the management of MM, please consult a doctor.
Published By :
Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI)
Jan 01, 2019
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