ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center have developed new guidelines to treat recently diagnosed multiple myeloma patients who are not participating in clinical trials. The guidelines give physicians practical, easy to follow recommendations for providing initial therapy, stem cell transplant and maintenance therapy. The guidelines are published in the current issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings and represent a consensus opinion of hematologists at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center sites in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona.
"Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects more than 20,000 people in the U.S. each year," says lead author Joseph Mikhael, M.D. a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Over the past decade we have made great progress in understanding the disease, developing drug therapies and increasing overall survival. However, as a medical community we haven't done as good a job at optimizing therapy based on a patient's individual risk factors."
Dr. Mikhael says the new guidelines will help patients with low-risk disease avoid the harsh side effects of therapy and will reserve more intense therapy for patients with aggressive disease.
Among the guidelines:
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