Primary plasma cell leukemia in the era of new drugs: has something changed?

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012 May;82(2):141-9. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Jun 29.


Primary plasma cell leukemia (PPCL) is a rare and aggressive variant of multiple myeloma. This disease is associated with a very poor prognosis, and unfortunately it has not significantly improved during the last three decades. Autologous stem cell transplantation is generally recommended in eligible patients, but survival in transplanted PPCL patients is significantly lower than that of multiple myeloma. Recent preliminary data indicate that new drugs, in particular lenalidomide and bortezomib, could significantly improve the clinical outcome of PPCL, increasing response rate and duration, as well as survival. In this review we report an updated literature analysis about the current therapeutic scenario of PPCL, with a particular focus on the use of novel agents.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Plasma Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Plasma Cell / surgery


  • Antineoplastic Agents