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Treatment Of Multiple Myeloma That Has Come Back!
Multiple Myeloma Treatments
There are several blood tests that have significance for the likely development of your myeloma. Your specialist will talk you through these. One test is called serum B2. A low level of this means your myeloma is less active and so is likely to develop more slowly. Another test is called serum albumin – a higher level for this is linked to a better outlook. There are many other tests, including chromosome tests.
It is a good sign if your myeloma responds well to treatment and goes into complete remission. This means that there is no clinical sign of your disease and no longer any abnormal immunoglobulin in your blood or urine. Remission can last for months or years, but unfortunately the myeloma is likely to come back eventually and need further treatment.
Treatment of Multiple Myeloma That Has Come Back!
Your doctor may call this relapsed myeloma. If your myeloma stays in remission for longer than 6 months after your treatment, your doctor may suggest that you have treatment with the same combination of drugs that you had before. But if it comes back sooner than that, the same treatment is less likely to help you a second time. Your doctor may suggest another treatment. This may be a different combination of chemotherapy drugs.
In this type of plasma cell neoplasm, the abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) collect in one location and form a single tumor, called a plasmacytoma. A plasmacytoma may form in bone marrow or may be extramedullary (in soft tissues outside of the bone marrow). Plasmacytoma of the bone often becomes multiple myeloma. Extramedullary plasmacytomas commonly form in tissues of the throat and sinuses; these usually can be cured.
Treatment Goals for Multiple Myeloma
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, since chemotherapy and even transplant rarely lead to permanent cure. Complete remission is unusual.
Chemotherapy and localized radiation therapy for relief of bone pain or treating a bone tumor may be useful. Bone marrow transplantation in younger patients has been shown to increase disease-free and overall survival, but it has significant risks.
Several promising new treatments including thalidomide, proteosome inhibitors, and arsenic trioxide are currently being investigated in clinical trials. Discuss participation with your doctor.
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