Is there a cure for multiple myeloma, how do I know it’s gone?
Some people are able to stop treatment for multiple myeloma because of something called minimal residual disease (MRD). MRD negativity means that a doctor has examined your cells very closely and could not detect any cancer in the bone marrow, according to Dr. Nina Shah, a Hematologist at UCSF. That means, “one in a million cells could not be found.”
The question then becomes, is being MRD negative good enough to safely stop treatment? “We don’t have that answer yet,” Dr. Shah said. “I’d say that if you’re considering stopping treatment because your doctor has told you that you are MRD negative, it’s really important that you continue close follow up every three months at least, so you can understand … if your markers change, to quickly consider getting back on treatment.”
In some cases, multiple myeloma patients will be put on something called maintenance therapy after initial treatment, in order to “maintain” myeloma in a depleted state.
The maintenance phase of multiple myeloma treatment aims to “maintain” the cancer in its depleted state after other treatments. We asked some of the top doctors in the field to explain how it works.
Maintenance Phase Treatment for Multiple Myeloma - What are the Options?
Continuous Use of Lenalidomide
What is Minimal Residual Disease?
Testing a Vaccine to Help Prevent Multiple Myeloma Recurrence