Common types of multiple myeloma and their treatments

Common types of multiple myeloma and their treatments

30th November 2022

Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell cancer where abnormal cells start multiplying in number and overpower healthy body cells. This affects the body’s organs and degrades the immune system, which makes the body more prone to foreign elements such as bacteria, virus and other microorganisms that adversely affect the health. However, the good news is that there have been rapid advances in the research for myeloma treatments.

Types of multiple myeloma
There are two types of multiple myeloma:

  • Smoldering myeloma: Patients with smoldering multiple myeloma will either have plasma cells making up 10% or more of the blood cells in the bone marrow or more than 30 g/l M-protein level in the blood. M-protein is an immunoglobulin that is produced by abnormal cells. More the quantity of M-protein, higher will be the risk.
  • Active myeloma: People expected to have active multiple myeloma will either have M-protein in the blood or plasma cells making up more than 10% in the bone marrow. The tumor might occur in the soft tissues and cause anemia, kidney failure or osteolytic lesions.

Treatment of multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma cure therapy for each of the two types is different. These treatments are often intricate and require intense medical surveillance for long hours. Often doctors prescribe multiple myeloma drugs, but the results of these vary from case to case. Generally, multiple myeloma treatments include the following therapies:

  • Chemotherapy: It involves the use of a drug to treat cancer.
  • Bisphosphonates: It is a particular class of drugs that is used to prevent the loss of bone mass.
  • Radiation: This involves the emission of energy in the form of electromagnetic waves and helps reduce abnormal cells.
  • Surgery: This is recommended only for severe cases.
  • Stem cell transplant: It involves replacing all unhealthy cells with healthy ones.
  • Plasmapheresis: It involves removing plasma cells by withdrawing blood from the body and then separating the plasma and cells.

Myeloma treatment is a bit expensive, but it aims to remove all abnormal body cells restoring health back. Early myeloma treatment is always the best option, as it stops this life-threatening disease at the initial stage.