Is autologous stem cell transplantation still relevant for multiple myeloma?
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Autologous stem cell transplantation has been the standard of care in myeloma treatment for many years, but the availability of newer antimyeloma drugs and the emerging data from chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell clinical studies make us question the relevance of it. The purpose of this review is to go over recent data and to reassess the current status of autologous stem cell transplantation as a standard of care. RECENT FINDINGS: Autologous stem cell transplantation can be safely performed for elderly patients and there is no absolute age limit. Recent data on BEAM (Carmustine, Etoposide, Cytarabine, and Melphalan), Busulfan/Melphalan, and Carmustine/Melphalan conditioning when compared with Melphalan showed favorable survival outcomes with manageable toxicities although we need to see data from randomized, multicenter studies. Posttransplant maintenance and consolidation can maximize the benefit of transplant by prolonging progression-free survival. Current B-cell maturation antigen CAR T-cell therapy showed remarkably high response rates, but didn't seem to provide durable response yet. SUMMARY: Recent advances in myeloma therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation are described. Although we've seen many new developments including CAR T-cell therapies, autologous stem cell transplantation remains as the standard of care. However, it may be replaced by or combined with newer therapies in the future.
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