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Recent advances in understanding multiple myeloma. F1000Res 2016;5 PMID: 27610224 PMCID: PMC4995679

Pubmed ID



There have been major recent advancements in the understanding and management of multiple myeloma. Diagnostic criteria have been revised and former ultra-high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma is now considered multiple myeloma in need of treatment. Understanding clonal progression, evolution, and tides not only has helped elucidate the disease behavior but might help expand therapeutic choices in order to select appropriate treatment for patients. Unprecedented response rates with modern triplet induction therapies containing proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulators have made this approach standard for initial treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration approved four new drugs (two targeted antibodies and two oral agents) in 2015 in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and these drugs along with the other already-available drugs have now increased the choices of regimens. Even drugs without single-agent activity, such as panobinostat and elotuzumab, have an important role, especially in the proteasome inhibitor refractory setting. Recent studies done in the context of novel agent induction suggest that high-dose therapy followed by autologous transplant continues to improve response rates and progression-free survival, thus underscoring their role in transplant-eligible patients. Evolving paradigms in the treatment of multiple myeloma include newer promising immune approaches, such as adoptive cellular therapies, vaccines, or antibody-based immune manipulations. Though multiple myeloma is still considered incurable, it is clear that with the improved understanding of disease biology and clonal architecture of relapse combined with the availability of multi-targeted approaches, we are ever closer to a lasting cure or transformation into indolent and long-lasting disease courses or both.

Author List

Dhakal B, Girnius S, Hari P


Binod Dhakal MD Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Parameswaran Hari MD Chief, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

jenkins-FCD Prod-299 9ef562391eceb2b8f95265c767fbba1ce5a52fd6