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The Center for Multiple Myeloma provides comprehensive treatment for all stages of multiple myeloma and a condition called MGUS, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. MGUS can progress to become multiple myeloma. We also treat patients with related plasma cell disorders, including:
We tailor treatment to each individual patient. Each member of our multidisciplinary care team has special expertise in treating this particular kind of cancer.
The Center for Multiple Myeloma provides comprehensive clinical care in a compassionate and caring environment. Our patients receive:
Correct diagnosis of each patient’s cancer is critical to treatment planning. Specialists in the Center for Multiple Myeloma treat a large number of patients, and our pathologists examine a corresponding large number of tissue samples. This enables each pathologist to develop specialized knowledge about cancer types and to keep up-to-date on new research. Our pathologists are routinely consulted by pathologists around the country for help with challenging cases. Our pathologists conduct evaluations of samples to offer second opinions through state-of-the art technology, including:
Novel therapies, both on their own and in combination with other drugs, are a major component of treatment for multiple myeloma. Our center provides access to the latest clinical trials with novel combinations.
In cases where cancer has greatly affected a patient’s bones, particularly the spine, radiation therapy may be prescribed in addition to chemotherapy. External beam radiation therapy may help ease the pain of weakened bones while also attacking the cancer cells in the bone marrow.
While surgery is not a standard therapy for multiple myeloma, orthopedic surgeons are often members of a patient’s care team. Our program works closely with orthopedic surgeons who are specialized in caring for patients whose bones have become weakened or fractured by multiple myeloma. Orthopedic surgeons are also skilled in recognizing signs of disease in damaged bones and are often instrumental in diagnosing this type of cancer. Some patients with multiple myeloma may benefit from bone marrow transplantation, which is discussed during initial meetings with a patient’s team.
Every patient in the Center for Multiple Myeloma has a multidisciplinary care team of specialists who coordinate and oversee his or her care. Members of a patient's care team might include:
Clinical Director, Center for Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a rare cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell.
Plasma cells, which are part of the immune (disease-fighting) system, produce antibodies — proteins that attack bacteria and viruses. With multiple myeloma, the body makes too many plasma cells. These plasma cells are also known as myeloma cells. The myeloma cells build up in the bone marrow and can cause tumors (abnormal growths such as plasmacytomas). Tumors may weaken the bone, affect the ability of the marrow to make blood, and other serious problems.
The American Cancer Society estimated that about 26,850 new cases of multiple myeloma would be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, and that the disease would cause about 11,240 deaths.
A diagnosis of multiple myeloma may be made through tests and procedures including some of the following:
Treatment for multiple myeloma may involve one or more of these options:
Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of multiple myeloma that use the latest in cancer treatments.
Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Multiple Myeloma also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.
Click here to find listings of our current clinical trials.
The Cancer Center also offers the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program, which strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation. Click here to find out more about this program.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a new patient appointment, please call the Center for Multiple Myeloma at 617-724-4000.
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