Multiple Myeloma Treatment

November 12, 2012

Multiple Myeloma Treatment

Multiple Myeloma is a form of cancer of the bone marrow that often requires different forms of treatment. Every form of cancer treatment is used for a different and specific purpose and treatment combinations will be tailored to suit each individual.

Overview

Treatment of cancer has been and continues to be researched and developed, which is why year after year treatment is more effective and there are more options available. This is true of multiple myeloma treatment and in most cases the best option is a combination of methods. Of course every case is different and it depends greatly on how and to where the multiple myeloma has spread. Different treatment options have different purposes and target different areas of the body. Chemotherapy for example is used to kill cancer cells throughout the entire body. Radiation therapy on the other hand is used locally to kill the cancer cells in a confined area. The ultimate aim of multiple myeloma treatment is to control the symptoms and provide relief for the patient. What each treatment does more specifically is detailed below.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is used in most cases of multiple myeloma, as this form of cancer is very sensitive to chemo, making the treatment fairly effective. The aim is to target cancer cells within the bone marrow itself as well as any part of the body that may be affected as the cancer spreads.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to directly destroy cancer cells in the bone marrow as well as to relieve painful bones. It is most commonly used in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy

This multiple myeloma treatment targets the immune system and is intended to help reinforce it. There are two drugs that are known to stimulate the immune system and they are Thalomid and Revlimid. The intention of this form if treatment is to prevent the cancer cells from continuing to reproduce within the bone marrow.

Bone Marrow transplant

During this multiple myeloma treatment, the patient is given incredibly high dose of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to kill as many of the cancer cells as possible from within the bone marrow. This results in the need of replacement healthy bone marrow so a transplant is required.

Stem cell transplant

This treatment is similar to a bone marrow transplant, with the difference being that rather than taking healthy cells from the donor’s bone marrow, they are taken from the blood from a vein in the arm. This is a much easier and less painful procedure.

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