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Br J Haematol. 2013 May;161(3):303-15. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12236. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

New advances in the diagnosis and treatment of POEMS syndrome.

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Department of Haematology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.


POEMS syndrome is a clonal plasma cell disease characterized by polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M protein, and skin changes. Significant advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of POEMS syndrome over the last decade. Herein, the diagnostic criteria and characteristic features are reviewed, focusing the role of characteristic features in early diagnoses. Autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation has become the first-line treatment for younger patients with normal organ function. Autologous transplantation has resulted in a high response rate and durable remission. Moreover, transplantation-related morbidity and mortality has been significantly reduced over the past 5 years. Induction therapy before transplantation may improve the harvest of stem cells and decrease transplantation-related morbidity. Melphalan and dexamethasone is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for older patients or those with organ dysfunction. Novel agents may also offer benefits to patients with a poor performance status or renal dysfunction, and transform transplantation eligibility.

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