Advances in the Autologous and Allogeneic Transplantation Strategies for Multiple Myeloma

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Background: Multiple myeloma is largely an incurable malignant plasma cell neoplasm; however, the landscape of its treatment is rapidly changing.

Methods: The recent literature on both autologous and allogeneic transplant approaches for multiple myeloma was reviewed.

Results: High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) remains an integral component of upfront treatment strategy, and the incorporation of novel immunomodulators and proteasome inhibitor to induction regimens improves response rates and increases overall survivals. Bortezomib-and lenalidomide-based combination chemotherapy regimens have become the standard induction myeloma therapy. When myeloma patients proceed to transplant after novel combination regimens, their response rates are further improved. Despite these recent major improvements, myeloma remains incurable and long-term survival appears elusive. Due in part to a potential graft-vs-myeloma effect, allogeneic HCT is a potentially curative transplant option. However, initial attempts have been hampered by the high transplant-related mortality. With a reduction of toxicity, allogeneic transplant approaches with reduced-intensity conditioning have been utilized, although they are subject to continued disease progression and relapse following transplantation. Recent research efforts have shifted to the use of a tandem autologous-allogeneic HCT approach. The long-term follow-up of this new strategy is awaited.

Conclusions: Recent advances in HCT have improved outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma. Ongoing research activity focuses on the strategies to improve outcomes of HCT by incorporation of tandem autologous-allogeneic transplantation schema, novel conditioning regimens, and the use of consolidation and maintenance therapy.

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Cancer Control, v. 18, issue 4, p. 258-267

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