Novel Treatments for Multiple Myeloma: What Role Do They Have in Older Adults?
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Multiple myeloma is a malignant plasma cell disease, which typically affects older patients, with a median age at diagnosis of 70 years. The recent introduction of novel drugs and ongoing improvements in supportive care have significantly contributed to overall better management and outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma. Autologous stem-cell transplantation has been a standard part of therapy for myeloma patients for many years, first in younger patients and increasingly in older, and may still be considered in selected older patients with myeloma. In addition, in both newly diagnosed patients and in the relapsed/refractory setting, a number of novel agents tested in large phase III trials have yielded improvements in overall outcomes. As clinical trials under-enrol older patients and have stringent exclusion criteria, the data and results from them may not be generalizable to all older adults. In this review, we examine the treatment options for older adults with myeloma with a specific focus on the currently available data on novel agents in this cohort. The clinical efficacy and unique toxicity profile of each novel agent must be considered prior to the treatment plan in older adults.
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