Plasmacytoma relapses in the absence of systemic progression post-high-dose therapy for multiple myeloma

Eur J Haematol. 2005 Nov;75(5):376-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2005.00531.x.


Autologous (ASCT) and allogeneic stem cell transplantations (alloBMT) are well-established therapies for multiple myeloma. However, patients continue to relapse at a constant rate. We present here 15 out of 163 patients who underwent SCT and relapsed with plasmacytomas only without evidence of bone marrow disease progression (14/147 post-ASCT and 1/16 post-alloBMT). The median time from SCT to plasmacytoma relapse was 24 months. The sites of plasmacytoma included bone, skin, rectum, and testicles. Five patients were treated with local radiotherapy, while seven patients received a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy or thalidomide, and two patients received chemotherapy alone with or without thalidomide. The recipient of alloBMT was initially treated with VAD-chemotherapy and local radiotherapy followed by a mini-allograft from the original donor. Eleven patients died at a median of 10 months following diagnosis of the plasmacytoma. Four are still alive, 12-20 months post-plasmacytoma diagnosis. These cases of unconventional disease recurrence are likely to be seen due to sub-clinical seeding of tumour cells suggestive of the presence of an extramedullary (EM) clone of plasma cells with a high degree of chemoresistance. We also review all the available data in the literature for the optimal therapy for patients with isolated EM relapse.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Clone Cells
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • Plasmacytoma / secondary*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use


  • Thalidomide