We don’t use the word hope lightly at SurvivorNet, but with regards to multiple myeloma, patients should truly be hopeful. We can say that because the specialists who’ve been driving the field for the past 20 years all believe that the treatments they now give to patients are drastically better than when they first began their careers. Both medicine and research are extremely promising for people who are recently or newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. We are indeed at something of an inflection point.
“In multiple myeloma we’ve been blessed in the last twenty years with an extraordinary change in the natural history of the disease, by virtue of the introduction of novel agents–which are biologically targeted, biologically rational approaches to treatment–that have really superseded the older approaches of chemotherapeutics,” says Dr. Paul Richardson, Director of Clinical Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Newer drugs, including combination therapies, more-refined stem cell transplants, and the recent emergence of immunotherapies, have led to a kind of “paradigm change” in how we view and ultimately treat multiple myeloma, says Anderson. “We’ve seen dramatic changes continue and I think that’s what’s been so exciting and been such a privilege to be part of the field — because these changes have led to further advances.”
With current advancements, average length of life with multiple myeloma has become four times what it was just two decades ago. There has been so much innovation already that individuals who would only live for a few years after treatment are now living for a decade or more, and things will only get better from here.
When speaking about what he’s seen from his own patients, Dr. Anderson is optimistic and joyful. “It’s been such a wonderful thing to see them deal with their disease, go into remission, and enjoy survivorship of 10, 15, and even 20 years–something which, not so long ago, would have been unheard of.”
As you start trying to make decisions about your treatment path, its important to understand the process and the increasingly hopeful prognosis of multiple myeloma.
Making Treatment Choices--SurvivorNet's Carefully Constructed Resources
The Revolution in Multiple Myeloma Treatment
Standard Risk vs. High Risk Multiple Myeloma
Treatment for Multiple Myeloma – Induction Therapy
Adding Daratumumab to Front-line Therapy in Multiple Myeloma
Early-Stage Treatment Standard of Care – Triplet Therapy
Myeloma Initial Treatment: How Will I Feel?
The First Treatment for Multiple Myeloma — Combination Therapy
Multiple Myeloma Initial Treatment - What's Right For You?
Which Triple-Drug Regimen is a Better Frontline Treatment for Multiple Myeloma?
A New Way to Deliver Daratumumab -- An Exciting Development in Multiple Myeloma
Stem cell transplant, also known as bone marrow transplant, is often recommended as a second step in treating multiple myeloma. It’s a major undertaking and not always a straightforward decision.
What is a Stem Cell Transplant?
Decision Making--Should I Get a Stem Cell Transplant?
Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant
Transplant with Your Own Cells: Effective, Not Curative
Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma - What to Expect
Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma - Side Effects