While most treatments for multiple myeloma may control the disease or delay it for years, these treatments usually cannot provide a cure.

Early treatment can help to improve survival for multiple myeloma.

Stages and Treatments

Stages are used to describe how much the multiple myeloma has worsened or spread.

The scientific classification system for stages of multiple myeloma relies on many complex biological factors that are mostly understood by medical professionals, so it is best to ask your doctor to explain these to you in a way that is understandable.

An easier way to understand stages of multiple myeloma and their treatments is by the following descriptions:

1. Solitary plasmacytomas

Solitary plasmacytomas are plasma cell tumors that can become multiple myeloma.

Treatment for solitary plasmacytomas is chemotherapy.

2. Smoldering multiple myeloma

Smoldering multiple myeloma is abnormal plasma cells that have a high risk of becoming active multiple myeloma.

Treatment for smoldering multiple myeloma may only required watching and waiting. Some patients with smoldering multiple myeloma may be treated with chemotherapy or lenalidomide and dexamethasone.

3. Active Melanoma

Active multiple myeloma is when the cancer cells make up 10% of your bone marrow.

Treatment for active multiple myeloma may include a combination of drugs, such as bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone; stem cell transplant, also known as bone marrow transplant; bisphosphonates; radiation therapy; transfusions for low blood cell counts; antibiotics; and intravenous immunoglobulin.

Types of Treatments

Treatment for multiple myeloma depends on how far the disease has progressed and whether there are any symptoms.

Patients with multiple myeloma who are not currently having any symptoms, which is called smoldering myeloma, may not require any treatment other than watching and waiting.

Once symptoms occur, treatments for multiple myeloma can include chemotherapy; stem cell transplant, also called bone marrow transplant; radiation therapy; corticosteroids; targeted therapy; biological therapy, blood transfusions; bisphosphonates; and antibiotics.

Bisphosphonates – Given by infusion through a vein, bisphosphonates can decrease the risk of bone fractures and increase survival.

Immunoglobulins – Given by infusion through a vein, immunoglobulins can help to prevent severe infections.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is usually given in high doses by pill or through a vein for multiple myeloma, usually before stem cell transplant, also called bone marrow transplant.

Stem cell transplant, or Bone marrow transplant – Stem cells are cells that are taken from blood or bone marrow that, when transplanted through a transfusion into a vein, develop into new, healthy blood cells. Before stem cell transplant, high doses of chemotherapy are given to kill the cancer cells. If the stem cells are taken from the same patient who later receives them after chemotherapy, this is called autologous stem cell transplant.

Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy uses beams of X-rays or protons and can be used in multiple myeloma to reduce the size of bone tumors, to slow disease progression, and to treat pain.

Corticosteroids – Corticosteroids are usually administered through a vein or in pill form to help control inflammation by regulating the immune system, or the body’s natural defenses.

Targeted therapy – Targeted therapy is used to kill cancer cells. Targeted therapies for multiple myeloma include bortezomib, carfilzomib, and ixazomib.

Biological therapy – Biological therapy is usually given in pill form and uses the immune system, or body’s natural defenses, to attack multiple myeloma cells. Biological therapies for multiple myeloma include thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide.

If multiple myeloma reoccurs after treatment or does not respond to treatment, an additional round of treatment, or combinations of treatments, may be given.

Palliative care

In addition to standard treatments, patients with multiple myeloma may also be treated with palliative care. Palliative care is used to relieve pain and other symptoms to make a patient more comfortable.

New, Experimental Treatments

New, experimental drugs for the treatment of multiple myeloma include melflufen, venetoclax, MCL-1 inhibitors, combinations of existing drugs, CAR T-cell immunotherapy, and vaccines.


This content was written by the MediFind Medical Team. Last updated: 6/9/2022

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    Multiple Myeloma Approved Drugs

    These are drugs that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning they have been determined to be safe and effective for use in Multiple Myeloma.

    Found 19 Approved Drugs for Multiple Myeloma


    Generic Name


    Brand Names
    Alkeran, Evomela


    Brand Names
    Doxil, Adriamycin


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    Brand Names
    Darzalex, Darzalex Faspro
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