There are many different options available for multiple myeloma. These include:
Drug Therapy. Drug therapies for multiple myeloma can either be aimed at slowing the replication of cancerous cells or killing the cancerous cells altogether. According to the Multiple Myeloma Research foundation, the following are the most common drug therapies used to treat multiple myeloma patients. Drug therapy may include taking one drug or a combination of several.
- Immunomodulatory drugs, which helps to stimulate the immune system and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. These include:
- Proteasome inhibitors, which work by inhibiting the function of proteasome, a protein that helps to regulate cell death. These include:
- Chemotherapy, which works to kill off cancerous cells through the intravenous or oral administration of potent anti-cancer agents.
- Corticosteroids, which help to decrease inflammation in the body. These include dexamethasone and prednisone
- Biophosphonates, which can help to improve the overall health of a patient’s bones, which can often be weakened by multiple myeloma.
Stem Cell Transplants. In stem cell transplantation, the patient is given a high dose of chemotherapy to kill off the cancerous cells and then infused with healthy stem cells with the aim of replacing those that have been killed. Stem cells are most commonly harvested from the patient’s blood after he or she has been given medications that stimulate the growth
Radiation Therapy, which uses high-energy radiation to kill or damage cancerous cells.
Surgery. Orthopedic surgical intervention can help to reinforce or repair bones that have been damaged by multiple myeloma. Surgical intervention can help a patient maintain or regain mobility. Not all patients are eligible for surgery, so be sure to consult your doctor about surgical options.