Chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma

Chemotherapy for multiple myeloma uses powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells that have spread throughout a patient’s body. Multiple myeloma is a type of hematological (blood) cancer that develops in the plasma cells within the bone marrow. These white blood cells produce antibodies (immunoglobulins) that are necessary for maintaining the body’s immune system. Through a complex, multi-step process, healthy plasma cells can sometimes transform into malignant myeloma cells and then travel through the immune system to reach various areas of the body. Because chemotherapy can target these widespread cells better than other standard treatments, it is one of the most common treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma.

To target widespread cancer cells, chemotherapy medications for multiple myeloma can be administered orally or intravenously, and may include one or more of the following drugs:

  • Lipsomal doxorubicin
  • Bendamustine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulating agents

Chemotherapy for multiple myeloma is usually conducted in cycles, with some drugs given daily and others administered on a weekly basis. A cycle can extend for up to a month, with four to six cycles constituting a single course of treatment (which can span four to six months). Some patients also receive stem cell transplants to help restore healthy cells that were lost through chemotherapy.

In Moffitt Cancer Center’s Malignant Hematology Program, the treatment options for multiple myeloma continue to increase as our scientists and clinicians perform research and conduct clinical trials investigating promising new therapies. At Moffitt, we are not just accelerating the development of new treatment options, but also improving the selection process to match each patient with the right approach for his or her needs. These advances have resulted in improved survival rates and enhanced quality of life for myeloma patients at Moffitt, where our outcomes consistently exceed the national average.

Chemotherapy for multiple myeloma is available at all Moffitt locations. If you’d like to learn more, we provide consultations with or without referrals. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.