Original Paper

Medical Oncology

, Volume 27, Supplement 1, pp 43-52

First online:

Management of disease- and treatment-related complications in patients with multiple myeloma

  • Francesca GayAffiliated withDivisione di Ematologia dell’Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giovanni Battista, Ospedale Molinette
  • , Antonio PalumboAffiliated withDivisione di Ematologia dell’Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giovanni Battista, Ospedale Molinette Email author 

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Treatment of myeloma has dramatically changed after introduction of novel agents, such as thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib, with a significant improvement in response rate and survival of patients with myeloma. For newly diagnosed patients not eligible for transplant, the standards of care are now considered melphalan and prednisone (MP) plus thalidomide and MP plus bortezomib. Ongoing randomized trials are evaluating lenalidomide plus MP and lenalidomide plus dexamethasone. For newly diagnosed patients eligible for transplant, new induction regimens included the combination of high-dose dexamethasone plus thalidomide, high-dose dexamethasone plus lenalidomide (RD) and high-dose dexamethasone plus bortezomib (VD). The combinations RD, VD and bortezomib plus pegylated-liposomal-doxorubicin have received the US Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of relapsed myeloma. Different efficacious regimens are therefore now available for patients with myeloma. Disease control leads to improvement of all myeloma-related complications (anemia, bone disease, immune dysfunction and renal impairment), but physicians should take into account the choice of the therapeutic strategy, the expected toxicity profile of each of these regimens, together with the patient’s biologic age and comorbidities. Supportive care is an essential part of myeloma therapy, both for the treatment of myeloma-related complications, together with anti-myeloma treatment, and for the management of treatment-emergent adverse events. This chapter will provide an overview of frequency and management of main complications related to the disease itself and to the use of new drugs in newly diagnosed and relapsed patients with myeloma.


Myeloma Adverse events Therapy New drugs