The treatment of patients with systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a challenge to hematologists. Despite its generally small size, the underlying clone causes a rapidly progressing, often devastating multiorgan dysfunction through the toxic light chains that form amyloid deposits. Clinical manifestations are deceitful and too often recognized at an irreversible stage. However, hematologists are in the unique position to diagnose AL amyloidosis at a presymptomatic stage, checking biomarkers of amyloid organ involvement in patients with monoclonal gammopathies at higher risk to develop the disease. Adequate technology and expertise are needed for a prompt and correct diagnosis, particularly for ruling out non-AL amyloidoses that are now also treatable. Therapy should be carefully tailored based on severity of organ involvement and clonal characteristics, and early and continual monitoring of response is critical. Three recent randomized clinical trials moved AL amyloidosis to evidence-based era. Above all, the daratumumab-bortezomib combination is a new standard-of-care for newly diagnosed patients, inducing rapid and deep responses that translate into high rates of organ response. The availability of new effective drugs allows to better personalize the therapy, reduce toxicity, and improve outcomes. Patients should be treated within clinical trials whenever possible.
© 2022 by The American Society of Hematology.