Acute leukemia in multiple myeloma

Ann Intern Med. 1977 Apr;86(4):440-3. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-86-4-440.


Of 476 patients with multiple myeloma treated during a 9-year period, 11 developed acute myelogenous leukemia or sideroblastic anemia. In all, the myeloma was in remission from chemotherapy with melphalan-prednisone combinations that had been continued for a median duration of 3 years. The incidence of acute leukemia or sideroblastic anemia was about 100 times higher than found in normal individuals of the same age. In all patients studied, major cytogenetic abnormalities were present, with hypodiploidy and evidence of chromosomal damage being noted most frequently. The frequency and nature of the chromosome changes were attributed to effects resulting from the prolonged drug therapy. These findings supported the long-term follow-up of selected patients with myeloma without any chemotherapy when marked degrees of remission followed the initial treatment courses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chromosomes / drug effects
  • Diploidy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / etiology*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Melphalan / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / complications*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Remission, Spontaneous


  • Melphalan
  • Prednisone