What Is Smoldering Multiple Myeloma?
Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is a rare cancer which occurs when certain types of white blood cells become abnormal. These abnormal white blood cells release substances called reactive oxygen species into the body causing damage to healthy tissue. SMM is very difficult to treat because it does not respond well to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. There are currently no effective treatments for SMM.
The only known cure is a bone marrow transplant from someone with a normal immune system. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to predict who will get such a transplant and how they will react to the treatment. So far, the best chance of survival for patients diagnosed with SMM has been around 5 years after diagnosis. However, even if the patient survives five years, they may still die due to other causes before then.
The disease is classified as grade III or IV based on its severity. Grade I cancers have a high mortality rate, but there is still a good chance of recovery. Grade II cancers have a lower mortality rate than grade III cancers, but they do not recover fully either. In general, the longer the time between diagnosis and death, the worse the prognosis becomes.
How Common Is Smoldering Multiple Myeloma?
SMM affects 10 out of every 1 million people per year in developed countries such as the United States. Although the disease does not occur frequently, it is becoming more common as the world’s population ages and people live longer lives. As most people are diagnosed after the age of 50, there are more cases of people over this age which increases the likelihood of developing the disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Smoldering Multiple Myeloma?
Sources & references used in this article:
Smoldering multiple myeloma by RA Kyle, PR Greipp – New England Journal of Medicine, 1980 – Mass Medical Soc
Clinical course and prognosis of smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma by RA Kyle, ED Remstein, TM Therneau… – … England Journal of …, 2007 – Mass Medical Soc
Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone for high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma by MV Mateos, MT Hernández, P Giraldo… – … England Journal of …, 2013 – Mass Medical Soc
Diagnosis of smoldering multiple myeloma by SV Rajkumar, D Larson, RA Kyle – The New England journal of …, 2011 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Smoldering multiple myeloma by SV Rajkumar, O Landgren, MV Mateos – Blood, 2015 – ashpublications.org
Thalidomide for previously untreated indolent or smoldering multiple myeloma by SV Rajkumar, A Dispenzieri, R Fonseca, MQ Lacy… – Leukemia, 2001 – nature.com
Genomic patterns of progression in smoldering multiple myeloma by N Bolli, F Maura, S Minvielle, D Gloznik… – Nature …, 2018 – nature.com