Elderly Multiple Myeloma Patients

New generation pharmacotherapy in elderly multiple myeloma patients.

Ataergin SA, Kindwall-Keller T, Berger NA, Lazarus HM.

Gulhane (GATA) Faculty of Medicine Department of Medical Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, 06018, Etlik, Ankara, Turkey.

BACKGROUND: Observational databases have demonstrated that the overall prognosis of multiple myeloma patients has markedly improved over the past decade, yet the greatest strides have been attained in younger rather than older patients. OBJECTIVE: To review recent clinical trials that include new generation agents (thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib) and autologous stem cell transplantation in older multiple myeloma patients. RESULTS: Conventional regimens such as melphalan plus prednisone can be improved with the addition of thalidomide or bortezomib: more patients attain complete and near-complete remission, and progression-free survival rates are nearly doubled. In addition, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation studies show that this treatment approach can be used successfully in selected older myeloma patients in whom the toxicity profile of autotransplant and resulting overall survival may be similar to that obtained in the younger patient group. CONCLUSIONS: In the advanced-age population, implementation of new therapies results in significant benefits in older as well as younger patients.