Improved survival in multiple myeloma and the impact of novel therapies

Blood. 2008 Mar 1;111(5):2516-20. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-10-116129. Epub 2007 Nov 1.


Treatments for myeloma have expanded in the last decade, but it is not clear if the introduction of novel therapies and the increased use of high-dose therapy have translated into better outcome for patients with myeloma. We examined the outcome of 2 groups of patients seen at a single institution, one from time of diagnosis and the other from the time of relapse, to examine the survival trends over time. Among 387 patients relapsing after stem-cell transplantation, a clear improvement in overall survival from the time of relapse was seen, with those relapsing after 2000 having a median overall survival of 23.9 versus 11.8 months (P < .001) for those who relapsed prior to this date. This improvement was independent of other prognostic factors. Patients treated with one or more of the newer drugs (thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib) had longer survival from relapse (30.9 vs 14.8 months; P < .001). In a larger group of 2981 patients with newly diagnosed myeloma, those diagnosed in the last decade had a 50% improvement in overall survival (44.8 vs 29.9 months; P < .001). In this study, we demonstrate improved outcome of patients with myeloma in recent years, both in the relapsed setting as well as at diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Multiple Myeloma / prevention & control
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • Recurrence