Two-Drug Combo Improves Post-Transplant Myeloma Outcomes

A two-drug regimen improved outcomes for patients with myeloma when given before a stem cell transplant.

Loretta Williams, PhD, APRN, AOCN, OCN, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of communication between patient and provider when deciding on a treatment regimen for multiple myeloma, where side effects and outcomes are both considered.

Williams recently led a study that showed that when given before a autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant, the two-drug regimen of busulfan plus melphalan had better progression-free survival rates than melphalan alone. However, the combination also came with higher rates of side effects (including mouth and throat pain) for the month after treatment. These side effects eventually decreased as time went on, leading Williams to believe that this is a viable pre-treatment strategy for eligible patients.