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Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1992 Apr;6(2):425-35.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in multiple myeloma.

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University of Bologna, Italy.


The use of high-dose chemoradiotherapy with allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell support for the treatment of MM began about a decade ago. Because this procedure has been performed increasingly and because larger numbers of patients are being followed for longer periods of time, the proper role of allogeneic BMT in this setting is becoming clearer. Data available thus far indicate that such an approach results in a complete remission rate of at least 50% to 60%, and even higher if applied as consolidation treatment in the remission phase, a transplant-related mortality reported as 40% to 50% and a long-term survival plateau at around 40%. The 40% 5-year probability of relapse-free survival is considerably higher than that observed following autologous BMT and may result from an allogeneic graft-versus-tumor effect (graft versus myeloma) similar to the well-recognized graft-versus-leukemia effect. Although follow-up is still too short to clearly identify the likelihood of cure for MM allotransplant recipients, a certain number of them are currently long-term, disease-free survivors and--we hope--cured. These promising results and the incurability of MM with conventional chemotherapy should, therefore, encourage further application of allogeneic BMT to selected patients with unfavorable prognostic features. Continued efforts to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to the procedure, as well as to design effective pretransplant regimens with lower extramedullary toxicity and to identify those patients most likely to benefit from BMT, will improve the value of allogeneic BMT in MM.

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