When to Treat Relapsed Myeloma

Here is what one expert says about the right time to start treating relapsed multiple myeloma.

Sagar Lonial, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and chief medical officer of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University discusses the criteria for treating patients with relapsed myeloma.

First, it is essential to determine if the patient needs to be treated at all. According to the International Myeloma Working Group, anyone who shows a re-emergence of symptomatic myeloma, per the CRAB criteria (calcium levels, renal dysfunction, anemia and bone lesions) should be treated.

However, Lonial mentioned that just because someone has a biochemical relapse, that doesn't always mean that they need treatment. Instead, Lonial may watch these patients, and take into consideration other possible factors, such as their genetic risk.