Recurrent multiple myeloma

What is Recurrent Multiple Myeloma?

Recurrent multiple myeloma (rMM) is a rare type of cancer that forms in white blood cells in the bone marrow known as plasma cells. When a person has rMM, there is a relapse of their initial multiple myeloma. This means that the cancer has come back after a period of time during which the cancer was not detectable. This relapse may occur after a remission, which is a period during which the cancer shrank or disappeared. rMM can also occur when the original myeloma is slow growing and slowly and continually progresses over time.

rMM is an advanced form of multiple myeloma. It is much harder to treat than the initial diagnosis. Generally, rMM is characterized by a recurrence of multiple myeloma after a period of remission. Relapse can occur quickly or slowly, and can be a minor relapsing episode, or a full relapse of multiple myeloma. Symptoms of recurrent multiple myeloma are similar to those of the initial diagnosis.

Treating Recurrent Multiple Myeloma

The treatment used for recurrent multiple myeloma may be different than the treatment the patient received for the initial diagnosis. The doctor will determine the best course of treatment based on the patient’s individual needs and how aggressive the cancer is. Some of the treatments used to treat rMM include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Immunotherapy, such as monoclonal antibodies
  • Targeted therapy, such as kinase inhibitors
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising often, and avoiding or quitting smoking, can help reduce the risk of recurrent multiple myeloma.