Multiple Myeloma: Know the Basics

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that originates in the bones. Here’s what you need to know about the disease.
BY Brielle Benyon
PUBLISHED January 17, 2019

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that originates in the plasma cells, which are white blood cells that are created within the bone marrow. The disease occurs in elderly patients (65 years or older), making autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) – a common and highly efficacious treatment – a concern for many physicians. However, one expert said that age may not have to be a limiting factor for patients who are otherwise fit to receive a transplant.

Race may also affect myeloma diagnoses and outcomes, with African Americans being affected by the disease more than any other group. And while black patients tend to have poorer outcomes than their Caucasian counterparts, a recent study found that this difference is mitigated for patients who were treated at a veterans’ hospital.

Regardless of age or race, research continues to move forward to improve outcomes for all patients with myeloma.

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