In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of stem cell transplant and anti-cancer drug treatment for Multiple Myeloma. Stem cell transplant appeared to increase survival in patients with Multiple Myeloma.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a type of cancer in which red blood cells over produce antibodies. Stem cell transplant is a common treatment for MM. This involved the transfer of stem cells to the patient. Stem cell transplant is also accompanied by treatment with medication. Common accompanying treatments include melphalan (Alkeran), lenalidomide (Revlimid) and thalidomide (Thalomid). Melphalan is a chemotherapy drug. Lenalidomide is an anti-cancer drug used mainly for blood cancers. Thalidomide is an anti-cancer drug used mainly to treat MM. It is important to investigate the long-term effects of stem cell transplant with different medication in patients with MM.
Methods & findings
One hundred and forty-one patients were included in this study. The average age of patients included was 55. Between 2002 and 2016, all patients were treated with melphalan and underwent stem cell transplant. On average, patients received a stem cell transplant 7 months after being diagnosed with MM. Most patients received stem cell transplant while they were not showing symptoms of MM for the first time. Twelve percent of patients received stem cell transplant after the first time they were not showing MM symptoms.
Eighty-three percent of patients were free from MM symptoms after stem cell transplant. About 98% of patients survived the transplant. On average, patients survived 128 months. On average, patients did not worsen until 74 months. Patients who were treated with lenalidomide had better survival than those treated with thalidomide. Patients who received stem cell transplant when they were not showing symptoms for the first time.
The bottom line
The main finding was that patients survived on average 128 months after stem cell transplant.
The fine print
There was no control group in this study. Therefore the true effects of treatment may not be apparent.
If you have questions baout the management of MM, please consult your doctor.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Oct 01, 2018
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