Myeloma in the Real World: What Is Really Happening?

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2017 Mar;17(3):133-144.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 26.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy and is predominantly a disease of the elderly. In the past 2 decades, a range of new therapeutic options have become available, leading to improvements in patient outcomes, including both attainment of remission and overall survival. These improved outcomes have heralded a paradigm shift from a palliative approach toward more active management, including the use of sequential therapies, with the goal of prolonging progression-free and overall survival and preserving organ function to enable delivery of further therapy at relapse. Until now, most outcome data for MM have come from clinical trials, with few reports available on patients treated outside the clinical trial setting-in the "real world." Clinical trials are routinely undertaken in specialist centers, and extrapolation of these trial data to broader clinical practice might not accurately reflect "real-world" patient outcomes. Optimal management of MM is of key importance for positive patient outcomes, and further scrutiny of the efficacy and safety of the various reported therapies and how clinical trial findings are being translated or applied in the real-world management of MM is required. In the present review, we have described the minimal published evidence available through a comprehensive published data search of MEDLINE using the OvidSP interface on the management and outcomes of MM outside the setting of clinical trials, including evidence on the uptake of new therapies and their efficacy and tolerability in standard practice. Clinical registries might be able to help provide these data in the future.

Keywords: Clinical practice; Efficacy; Practice patterns; Safety; Treatment paradigm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy