Real‑world multiple myeloma management practice patterns and outcomes in selected Central and Eastern European countries

Pol Arch Intern Med. 2018 Sep 28;128(9):500-511. doi: 10.20452/pamw.4305. Epub 2018 Jul 27.


Introduction Multiple myeloma (MM) treatment has evolved substantially in recent years. Solid data on the impact of treatment strategies on patient outcomes beyond clinical trials are scarce, especially in budget‑restricted environments with limited access to new treatments. Objectives This study investigated treatment practices, patterns, and outcomes in real‑world clinical practice in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. Patients and methods This was a noninterventional, observational chart review comprising a cross‑sectional and a retrospective longitudinal phase observing adult patients with symptomatic MM at all stages of therapy. Results The study revealed structural differences in clinical practice compared with a similarly designed study previously conducted in 7 Western European countries. Stem cell transplantation was performed in less than half of newly diagnosed eligible patients. The most frequently used first‑line regimens were bortezomib based, with frequent bortezomib retreatment after the first relapse. Lenalidomide‑based regimens were predominant in the third and subsequent lines of therapy. Depth of response decreased with each treatment line, with half of patients achieving at least very good partial response (≥VGPR) in the first line, while only one‑fourth achieved ≥VGPR in the third or subsequent lines. Time to progression was longer in patients with better response levels. Conclusions Inadequate access to advanced antimyeloma regimens and-in some countries-stem cell transplantation highlights the challenges of MM treatment in the region. Information on real‑world patient management and its outcomes can provide valuable input for decision makers to effectively allocate limited resources.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bortezomib / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Management*
  • Europe, Eastern
  • Humans
  • Lenalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bortezomib
  • Lenalidomide