British Journal of Haematology Volume 12 - Issue 2, January 2017

The next era in multiple myeloma: from trials to clinical practice Back

Steve Chaplin, Medical Writer


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell neoplasm that results in an expanded plasma cell population within the bone marrow.1 MM accounts for 2% of newly diagnosed cancers in the UK, or about 5500 cases in 2013.2 It is the third most frequent haematological cancer after non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukaemia, and the seventeenth most frequent cancer overall.3 The incidence has increased by two-thirds in the last 40 years and by 14% in the last decade.2 Most cases are diagnosed in older people, with increasing disparity between men and women with age.

The history of MM therapies has been characterised by the introduction of new agents that deliver step-change improvements in outcomes, from the development of chemotherapy in the 1960s to the proteasome inhibitors (PIs) and immunomodulators (IMIDs) in the 1990s and 2000s.4 This review looks at the evolution of the treatment landscape in MM, and the implications for patients and clinicians of daratumumab, a humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and refractory MM (RRMM) after failure of a PI and an IMID.

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