Nuances in the Management of Older People With Multiple Myeloma

Charlotte Pawlyn, Francesca Gay, Alessandra Larocca, Vivek Roy, Sikander Ailawadhi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma is a disease of the elderly, with about a third of patients at diagnosis older than 75 years of age. Yet, the population of elderly patients is heterogeneous: older patients are more likely to have comorbidities and frailties complicating both their initial diagnosis and subsequent management, but these are not consistent across the group. Furthermore, patients with comorbidities and frailty are generally underrepresented in clinical trials. Despite the survival of myeloma patients increasing following the introduction of novel agents, older patients continue to have worse outcomes with increased treatment-related toxicity. Treatment tolerability is not defined by age alone, rather a combination of age, physical function, cognitive function, and comorbidities. These factors all influence patients’ tolerability of treatment and therefore treatment efficacy and should also be considered when reviewing the results of clinical trials. It is the nuances of determining how these factors interact that should influence initial treatment and ongoing management decisions and these will be discussed here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Elderly
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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