Managing multiple myeloma: the emerging role of novel therapies and adapting combination treatment for higher risk settings

Br J Haematol. 2011 Sep;154(6):755-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08791.x. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Novel therapies have transformed the treatment paradigm for multiple myeloma with significant improvements in survival now seen in both younger and older patients. Nonetheless, the disease is heterogeneous and high-risk patients in particular continue to have poor outcome. Moreover, the disease remains incurable. Efforts to refine risk stratification and disease characteristics continue with the use of cytogenetics, enhanced imaging techniques and other new technologies, such as genomics. The integration of novel therapies into induction therapy, consolidation and maintenance continues to evolve, and the appropriate use of combination strategies including proteasome inhibition and immunomodulatory treatment is emerging as a platform with application across the disease spectrum. Despite these advances, resistance to novel agents occurs and so the identification of new targets and the recognition of clonal heterogeneity are especially important as improvements to current treatment strategies are developed, with the goal of further improving patient outcome.

Keywords: malignancy; multiple myeloma; therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome