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How is myeloma treated?

Treatment for myeloma is aimed at disease control, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes, and extending and improving the quality of patients’ lives.

Myeloma treatment is almost always with a combination of drugs over periods of time known as cycles. Cycles may last from weeks to months.

Treatment combinations are usually made up of two or three different types of drugs which work well together and can include chemotherapy drugs (e.g. cyclophosphamide and melphalan), steroids (e.g. dexamethasone and prednisolone) and other types of anti-myeloma drugs (e.g. thalidomide, Velcade® and Revlimid®).

Initial treatment

Commonly used initial treatment combinations for myeloma include:

Cyclophosphamide, thalidomide and dexamethasone (known as CTD)
Melphalan, prednisolone and thalidomide (known as MPT)
Velcade®, melphalan and prednisolone (known as VMP)
After receiving an initial course of treatment, you may be suitable to go on and have high-dose therapy and a stem cell transplant.

You may also be prescribed other treatment to:

Help prevent or manage potential side-effects of treatment combinations
Treat the symptoms and complications of myeloma. These include:
Bisphosphonates to help minimise myeloma bone disease, hypercalcaemia and bone pain
Radiotherapy for areas of localised bone disease and pain
Blood transfusions and/or erythropoietin (EPO) for anaemia

Treatment for relapsed myeloma

Myeloma is highly treatable in the majority of cases but unfortunately it is currently incurable. This means that even after successful treatment has given you a period of remission or stable disease, your myeloma will return. This is called a relapse.

There are a number of effective treatments available for relapsing myeloma. This is true regardless of whether it is your first relapse or if you have experienced one or more relapses previously.

Commonly used treatment combinations at relapse include:

Velcade® and dexamethasone
Revlimid® and dexamethasone
There are also a number of novel treatments being investigated for use in clinical trials.


Additional Myeloma Resources/Links


Meet the Team behind Myeloma Ireland

Patrick Hayden

Patrick Hayden Chair

Mary Kelly

Mary Kelly Vice-Chair

Maura Dowling

Maura Dowling Secretary

Liam McManuse

Liam McManuse Treasurer

Anne Fitzgerald

Anne Fitzgerald Assistant Treasurer

Peter O’Gorman

Peter O’Gorman

Joe O’Brien

Joe O’Brien

John Quinn

Mervyn Byrne

Helen Brennan