Is it time for preemptive drug treatment of asymptomatic (smoldering) multiple myeloma?

Adewale Fawole, Rafat Abonour, Michael Stender, Seerin Shatavi, Susanna Gaikazian, Joseph Anderson, Ishmael Jaiyesimi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Asymptomatic (smoldering) multiple myeloma is a heterogeneous plasma cell proliferative disorder with a variable rate of progression to active multiple myeloma or related disorders. Hypercalcemia, renal insufficiency, anemia, bone lesions or recurrent bacterial infections characterize active multiple myeloma. Some patients with asymptomatic myeloma develop active disease rapidly, and others can stay asymptomatic for many years. Those who are likely to progress within the first 2 years of diagnosis have been categorized as having high-risk disease. The availability of novel agents in the treatment of active multiple myeloma and our better understanding of the heterogeneity of asymptomatic multiple myeloma have spurred interest in the early treatment of these patients. We have reviewed the current proposed definitions of high-risk asymptomatic multiple myeloma, the concerns about future therapy in view of the transient nature, remissions and toxicities of the therapies, and the eventual relapses that characterize this incurable disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Chemotherapeutic approaches
  • Cytogenetics
  • Myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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