Stem Cell

Stem Cell Transplants Work for Many Myeloma Patients Who Fail to Respond to First-line Therapies, Study Finds

Stem Cell Transplants Work for Many Myeloma Patients Who Fail to Respond to First-line Therapies, Study Finds

Stem cell transplants derived from patients’ own bone marrow are a safe and effective treatment for those with multiple myeloma who fail to respond to first-line treatments, a study reports.

Scientists call transplants using patients’ own cells autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplants, or Auto-HCTs.

The study, “Outcome of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in refractory multiple myeloma,” was published in the journal Cancer.

Drugs are usually the first multiple myeloma treatment doctors try. The kinds of drugs have changed over the years. New classes such as proteasome inhibitors (PIs) and immunomodulatory agents (IMiDs) have led to more than 90 percent of patients achieving an overall response to treatment. An overall response includes both a full and partial response.

In many instances, doctors do a stem cell transplant after a patient has received drugs as a first-line treatment. Studies have shown that it takes longer for those who receive drugs and then a stem cell transplant to have their cancer progress. These patients also survive longer.

Unfortunately, patients sometimes fail to respond…