Targeting the bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma

Immunol Rev. 2015 Jan;263(1):160-72. doi: 10.1111/imr.12233.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by clonal expansion of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow (BM). Despite the significant advances in treatment, MM is still a fatal malignancy. This is mainly due to the supportive role of the BM microenvironment in differentiation, migration, proliferation, survival, and drug resistance of the malignant plasma cells. The BM microenvironment is composed of a cellular compartment (stromal cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, endothelial cells, and immune cells) and a non-cellular compartment. In this review, we discuss the interaction between the malignant plasma cell and the BM microenvironment and the strategy to target them.

Keywords: BMSCs; bone marrow; immune cells; myeloma; vessel formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Lenalidomide
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance / therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • Plasma Cells / physiology*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Boronic Acids
  • Pyrazines
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib
  • Lenalidomide