Multiple Myeloma Radiation Treatment

Multiple myeloma radiation therapy uses targeted energy in the form of X-rays to destroy cancerous cells, shrink tumors and slow the progression of the cancer. While this treatment can be provided with several goals in mind, it is most often used to help alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms, such as bone pain. Due to the unique nature of multiple myeloma, which develops in the plasma cells within the bone marrow, treatment usually does not include surgery unless it is recommended for relieving discomfort associated with a plasmacytoma (a small tumor that forms when abnormal plasma cells accumulate in bone or soft tissue). However, radiation therapy may be combined with other options, such as chemotherapy or biological therapy, for a comprehensive approach to treatment.

In the Malignant Hematology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, our radiation oncologists are experienced in using advanced techniques to deliver precisely targeted radiation therapy while proactively managing any side effects. Some of the multiple myeloma radiation delivery methods we offer include:

  • External beam radiation therapy – High-energy X-rays are directed from an external machine toward cancerous cells within a patient’s body. Some specific types of external beam radiation therapy include three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), TomoTherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery.
  • Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) – Radioactive materials are placed via a catheter or other carrier directly into or near a cancer site.
  • Systemic radiation therapy – A radioactive substance is swallowed or injected into a vein and then travels through a patient’s bloodstream to reach and destroy cancerous cells throughout his or her body. An example of this type of treatment is radioactive iodine therapy.

For many patients, radiation therapy is an important aspect of multiple myeloma treatment. Moffitt’s radiation oncologists specialize in delivering maximum radiation doses to tumors while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissues and organs, and can often provide options to patients who have reached their maximum tolerated dosage of traditional radiation. Working as part of a multispecialty team of experts, these experienced professionals develop highly individualized treatment programs based on the unique needs of our patients.

If you’d like to learn more about multiple myeloma radiation treatment options, the experts at Moffitt can help. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We see patients with and without referrals.