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Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2012;4(1):e2012069. doi: 10.4084/MJHID.2012.069. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Update on the role of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Hematology Unit, Department of Oncology and Hematology, Infermi Hospital Rimini Italy.


Autologous stem cell transplantation is considered the standard of care for multiple myeloma patients aged < 65 years with no relevant comorbidities. The addition of drugs acting both on bone marrow microenvironment and on neoplastic plasma cells has significantly increased the proportion of patients achieving a complete remission after induction therapy, and these results are mantained after high-dose melphalan, leading to a prolonged disease control. Studies are being carried out in order to evaluate whether short term consolidation or long-term maintenance therapy can result into disease eradication at the molecular level thus increasing also patients survival. The efficacy of these new drugs has raised the issue of deferring the transplant after achiving a second response upon relapse. Another controversial point is the optimal treatment strategy for high-risk patients, that do not benefit from autologous stem cell transplantation and for whom the efficacy of new drugs is still matter of debate.

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