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Onkologie. 2001 Aug;24(4):386-90.

[Treatment of multiple myeloma in elderly patients: consensus of the Geriatric Oncology Working Group of the German Society of Hematologic Oncology and the German Society of Geriatrics].

[Article in German]

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Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik m.S. Hämatologie und Onkologie, Charité, Berlin.


Treatment of Multiple Myeloma in the Elderly: Consensus of the Cooperative Group of Geriatric Oncology of the DGHO and DGG Multiple myeloma is an illness of old age. Often, in elderly people the diagnosis is delayed by the fact that bone pain, which is the most frequently presenting symptom, is not correctly interpreted because this is a common complaint in the elderly. In contrast to younger patients with multiple myeloma, elderly patients often present with infections at diagnosis. After the diagnosis is established, careful observation is very important. This applies both to patients who require still no therapy and to patients under treatment. In order to optimize the care of older patients, apart from tumor-specific investigations multidimensional geriatric assessment is helpful. This specifically applies for multiple myeloma which predisposes the patient to 'instability' and 'immobility', both belonging to the typical geriatric symptoms. Geriatric assessment may also be helpful in the selection of those elderly patients who are candidates for a possible prognosis-improving experimental intense chemotherapy. For the majority of the elderly patients in need of treatment the standard is melphalan/prednisone accompanied by one of the biphosphonates. Nevertheless, in order to improve prospects also for this group of patients, as many elderly patients as possible should be included into studies. This is the only way to compile valid recommendations for the treatment of elderly patients with multiple myeloma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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