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Multiple Myeloma


The treatment options for multiple myeloma may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is rarely used to treat multiple myeloma. In some cases, it is used to remove plasmacytomas. However, surgery has a role in managing the complications caused due to multiple myeloma. When there is a compression of the nerve that causes paralysis, the patients undergo emergency surgery. Surgery is also used in patients with significant damage to the bone to prevent fractures.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves using high-energy radiation to kill myeloma cells. The therapy is used in cases where the patients do not respond to chemotherapy and areas of the bones are damaged by cancer. It is also used to treat solitary plasmacytomas. In addition, radiation therapy shrinks the tumor size in a particular area. External beam radiation therapy is one of the most common radiation therapy techniques used for multiple myeloma patients.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy was once the primary treatment for multiple myeloma. However, with newer and safer drugs, chemotherapy is less important for managing myeloma. However, chemotherapy is still the treatment of choice in certain situations. Chemotherapy drugs are generally given in combination, either orally or through injection. In addition, chemotherapy drugs may be combined with radiation therapy and other medications, such as corticosteroids and immune modulators.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids serve several purposes in patients with multiple myeloma. These drugs control inflammation in the body by regulating the immune system. Corticosteroids are also active against multiple myeloma cells. Further, it manages the side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, caused due to chemotherapy drugs.
  • Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplant involves killing the cells of the bone marrow and then infusing the new and healthy blood-forming stem cells. The stem cell transplant is used for treating multiple myeloma. Before the treatment, the patients undergo drug treatment to minimize the number of multiple myeloma cells. A stem cell transplant may be an autologous or allogeneic transplant.
  • CAR T-cell therapy: CAR T-cell therapy is a type of cancer immunotherapy. During this therapy, the T-cells of the patients are obtained through leukapheresis. The T-cells are frozen and are genetically altered in the laboratory to have specific receptors. These receptors assist the T-cell in attaching to the cancer cells. Then, these genetically altered T-cells are multiplied and infused into the patients.

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