Q&A With Tanya Wildes, MD: Managing Multiple Myeloma in Older Patients

In this question-and-answer session,
‘Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes
about the management of
multiple myeloma among older patients.

Tanya M Wildes, MD, is an assistant professor of medical oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Her clinical and research focus is on the management of multiple myeloma and other hematologic cancers among older adults. She also studies risk prediction of falls and geriatric assessment in older patients with myeloma.

In this question-and-answer session, Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes about the management of multiple myeloma among older patients, and how clinical practice is changing as baby boomers reach late adulthood.

Cancer Therapy Advisor (CTA): How are the demographics and incidence of multiple myeloma changing in the United States?

Dr Wildes: Between 2010 and 2030, there is expected to be a 57% increase in the number of myeloma cases diagnosed annually.This increase will be largely driven by the aging of the population. One projection estimates that, among individuals age 64 to 84 years, the incidence will increase from 12,700 in 2011 to 2013 to 24,400 in 2032 to 2034 — an increase of over 90%. Currently, 2 out of every 3 individuals diagnosed with multiple myeloma are aged 64 to 84. In 15 years, that number will be 3 out of every 4.

CTA: What are the biggest challenges in managing multiple myeloma among older adults?

Dr Wildes: The biggest challenge in managing multiple myeloma in older patients is finding the balance between effectiveness of treatment and toxicity. The trend toward more intensive therapy to obtain deeper responses must be balanced with the real world risk of toxicity.

Jump For The Rest of the Interview