Primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL) is a rare malignancy with an aggressive course and poor outcome. There has been significant improvement in the survival of multiple myeloma patients over the past decade as a result of incorporating autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and novel agents into treatment regimens. However, it is unknown whether these therapies have had a similar impact on the survival of patients with pPCL. We conducted an analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to evaluate the trends in survival of 445 patients with pPCL between 1973 and 2009. The widespread availability of ASCT and use of novel agents in the upfront setting of multiple myeloma and pPCL began after 1995 and 2006, respectively. The median overall survival based on periods of diagnosis were 5, 6, 4, and 12 months for those diagnosed during 1973-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005, and 2006-2009, respectively (P = .001). Thus, the current study confirms the recent survival improvement in pPCL within a large US population that may be associated with the use of better therapeutic strategies.
© 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.