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Semin Hematol. 2009 Apr;46(2):158-65. doi: 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2009.02.001.

Role of allogeneic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma.

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Division of Hematology, S. Giovanni Battista Hospital, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.


High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue has been regarded as the standard of care for young newly diagnosed myeloma patients. Moreover, the development of new agents with potent anti-tumor activity has further improved survival. However, relapse is a continuous risk primarily due to the inability of current therapies to eradicate all myeloma cells. Allografting is the only potentially curative treatment at least for a subset of multiple myeloma patients due to its well documented graft-versus-myeloma effects. Given the high transplant mortality of the high-dose myeloablative conditionings used until recently, allografting has for a long time been limited to younger relapsed/refractory patients. These limitations have been reduced significantly by the use of reduced-intensity conditionings. Although results of recent trials are encouraging, the subset of patients who may benefit most from an allograft remains to be determined. An overview of the clinical outcomes obtained with allografting and possible future developments are reported.

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