Promising new drugs are being evaluated for treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), but their impact should be measured against the expected outcome in patients failing current therapies. However, the natural history of relapsed disease in the current era remains unclear. We studied 286 patients with relapsed MM, who were refractory to bortezomib and were relapsed following, refractory to or ineligible to receive, an IMiD (immunomodulatory drug), had measurable disease, and ECOG PS of 0, 1 or 2. The date patients satisfied the entry criteria was defined as time zero (T(0)). The median age at diagnosis was 58 years, and time from diagnosis to T(0) was 3.3 years. Following T(0), 213 (74%) patients had a treatment recorded with one or more regimens (median=1; range 0-8). The first regimen contained bortezomib in 55 (26%) patients and an IMiD in 70 (33%). A minor response or better was seen to at least one therapy after T(0) in 94 patients (44%) including ≥ partial response in 69 (32%). The median overall survival and event-free survival from T(0) were 9 and 5 months, respectively. This study confirms the poor outcome, once patients become refractory to current treatments. The results provide context for interpreting ongoing trials of new drugs.