A View from the Plateau: Is There a Role for Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in the Era of Highly Effective Therapies for Multiple Myeloma?

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Curr Hematol Malig Rep


Antibodies, Monoclonal; Graft vs Host Disease; Humans; Immunotherapy; Multiple Myeloma; Neoplasm, Residual; Stem Cell Transplantation; Survival Rate; Transplantation, Homologous


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) represents the earliest form of immunotherapy used to treat multiple myeloma (MM). Since the first successful myeloablative allografts were performed in the early 1980s, highly effective new agents to treat this disease have been identified at an unprecedented pace. Currently, sixteen FDA-approved therapies are available to treat MM. As a consequence of these advances, the median overall survival for standard risk MM patients has extended to over 7 years. In light of the effective treatment options available, and as a consequence of high rates of toxicity, the role of allo-HCT to treat MM has been called into question. Patients with high-risk disease however continue to face early relapse and death, underscoring the need for approaches that more effectively treat this group. Moreover, allo-HCT remains the only mechanism through which MM patients are reliably cured and for the high-risk population represent an important treatment option that provides them access to an otherwise elusive survival plateau.

Clinical Institute