Transplant of patients’ own stem cells improves survival in older adults with multiple myeloma
The preferred treatment for patients under 65 is high-dose chemotherapy combined with autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). Autologous refers to the transplant of a patient’s own cells. The cells used to treat multiple myeloma are hematopoietic stem cells, a type of stem cell which forms the blood system. The current study looked back at a total of 146 patients who were treated at the Washington University School of Medicine, with a median age of 68 years and an age range of 65 to 77. A group of 62 patients received the combined chemotherapy and ASCT treatment, and 84 patients received chemotherapy only. The group that received the combined treatment survived an average (median) of 56.0 months, while the group receiving only chemotherapy survived an average of 33.1 months. Three years after treatment, the survival rate among the combined treatment group was 78.3%, compared with 49.5% survival among the group that did not receive ASCT.
Wildes, TM, Finney, JD, Fiala, M, et al. (2015) High-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant in older adults with multiple myeloma. Bone Marrow Transplant. 50(8):1075-82. doi:10.1038/bmt.2015.106