By Paul Kleutghen | Posted - May 20th, 2017





Relapse of Multiple Myeloma: What Happens Next?

BY PAUL KLEUTGHEN This is a question that many of us ask ourselves after our auto transplant(s) and as time moves along in our maintenance therapy. Different decision considerations and options are discussed in an easy to understand fashion in an interview with Dr. Rafael Fonseca, MD from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ published in Clinical Oncology Today. Key issues discussed are :

  • “The treatment of patients with relapsed MM largely depends on the clinical nature of the relapse and other important variables.
  • We try to categorize a relapse as indolent (serologic only) or aggressive with end-organ damage.
  • For patients who have an indolent relapse, a gentle and simple approach could be appropriate.
  • We have mainly used daratumumab in combination with other agents.
  • It is critically important to note that elotuzumab has minimal to no activity as a single agent.
  • Carfilzomib has become a critical tool in the modern management of multiple myeloma.
  • Clinical trials are exploring combinations that could include panobinostat."

This interview is a ‘must read’ that can be accessed here. Relapsed patients may also want to consider joining a clinical trial. There are so many new drugs being developed in multiple myeloma, that they hold exciting promise towards a cure. To find all relapsed/refractory clinical trials, click here:    

Paul Kleutghen
About the Author

Paul Kleutghen - I am a patient diagnosed in 2014 with primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL), a rare and aggressive variant of multiple myeloma and have been very fortunate to find treatment at the division of Cellular Therapy at the Duke University Cancer Institute. My wife, Vicki, and I have two adult children and a grandson who is the ‘light of my life’. Successful treatment has allowed Vicki and I to do what we love best : traveling the world, albeit it with some extra precautions to keep infections away. My career in the pharmaceutical industry has given me insights that I am currently putting to use as an advocate to lower drug pricing, especially prices for anti-cancer drugs and, very specifically, CAR-T therapies, with recent contributions posted by Health affairs, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


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