Multiple myeloma in the elderly.
While multiple myeloma is an incurable disease for nearly all patients, current chemotherapy and supportive care can result in significant disease control and improved duration of survival and quality of life. With the average age of patients about 70, most of the high-dose curative strategies exclude the bulk of patients affected by the disease. Recent advances in understanding the biology and pathophysiology of myeloma have led to novel therapies aimed at altering drug resistance, improving duration of the plateau phase, interrupting the cytokine growth stimulation, and improving management of common complications including infections, anemia, and bone lesions. These latter approaches are not restricted to younger patients, and early evidence indicates that elderly patients are also likely to benefit.
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