Multiple Myeloma – The Longer You Live, The Longer You Live!  Survival Rate and Life Expectancy Improves to a Cure rate at 10 years of Survival 

Some recent studies have shown that if a multiple myeloma patient can survive 10 years, they seldom relapse after this time and this could be considered cure.  This happens in about 10% of all cases.  This assertion has been repeated by Dr Berenson, Dr. Hari, and Dr. Vij on three separate Cure Panel Broadcasts. 

However, I think we can take this one step further.  For each year of survival, the probability of survival improves and continues to improve until it reaches the same survival rate for the general population of the same age.  An analysis of the SEER survival rates provided by the National Cancer Institute shows this exact relationship.  If I subtract the yearly survival rate of year 0 from year one,  I find that 23.5 percent of all multiple myeloma patients do not survive, and if I do this for year 1 to year 2 then 10.9 percent of the total patients do not survive for this period.  You can continue this process all the way to the period between year 9 and year 10 where only 2.1 percent of the patients do not survive during this period.  At this point the Social Security Life Expectancy tables report that the average American will die at a rate of 2.15 percent, or at a rate slightly greater rate than the average multiple myeloma patient.  So “The longer you live, The longer you live!”

There are a number of possible explanations for this relationship.  Some may be early deaths for high risk patients, smoldering patients, the advent of the use of novel agents, some patients obtaining and maintaining CR, et al.  However, the newest data that I have seen from the multiple myeloma specialists show 1 and 2 year rates that are much better by 2 to 13 times the rates provided by SEER.  In addition, this SEER data represents an average life expectancy of 4 years where many of the multiple myeloma specialists have average life expectancy of 7 to 10 years. 

So the best three things that you can do to improve life expectancy remain “Multiple Myeloma Specialist, Multiple Myeloma Specialist, and Multiple Myeloma Specialist.”   A listing of the world’s best can be found at the link: