Trends of incidence, mortality, and survival of multiple myeloma in Switzerland between 1994 and 2013

Cancer Epidemiol. 2018 Apr;53:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2018.01.015. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


Background: Treatment of multiple myeloma has changed considerably over the last two decades with remarkable reduction in mortality rates in clinical trials and in population-based studies. Since health care systems and patient management differ between countries, population-based data from cancer registries with high coverage may provide further insight into real-life achievements and unmet needs. We report on the first population-based nation-wide study of incidence, mortality and survival of multiple myeloma in Switzerland covering the era of autologous stem cell transplantation and the first proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs.

Methods: We performed a retrospective registry study with data from the National Institute for Cancer Epidemiology and Registration (NICER) database in Switzerland from 1994 to 2013.

Results: We identified 5770 patients with multiple myeloma. Incidence has increased from 419 new cases per year in 1994-1998 to 557 new cases per year in 2009-2013 while the age-adjusted incidence rate remained stable at 4.7-5.0 per 100'000 person-years. Five- and 10-year relative survival increased from 32.6% (95%CI 29.3-36.0) and 17.8% (95%CI 14.9-21.0) in 1994-1998 to 46.4% (95%CI 43.3-49.3) and 25.0% (95%CI 21.9-28.3) in 2009-2013.

Conclusion: The increase in incidence can be attributed to demographic changes. There is a trend to longer relative survival in all age groups with substantial increase in myeloma patients aged less than 75 years and only minimal changes in older persons.

Keywords: Incidence; Mortality; Multiple myeloma; Neoplasms; Registries; Survival; Switzerland.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult