The treatment option for multiple myeloma depends on several factors that may include the age of the patient, stage of cancer, and lab results. The team of health care professionals determines the best treatment options depending on the condition of the patient. The treatment aims to stop the cancer growth, decrease the size of tumors, and develop immunity to fight against the infections. Following are the treatment options used to treat multiple myeloma:
There are several different drug therapies used for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Each therapy aims to stop cancer growth and destroy cancerous cells.
- Proteasome inhibitors
Proteasomes are the protein complexes that help the cancerous cells to get rid of old proteins and replace them with new proteins. These drugs prevent this action of proteasomes, and as a result, old proteins accumulate in the cells, and the cell dies due to an overload of proteins. Velcade, Kyprolis, and Ninlaro are the approved medicines used as proteasome inhibitors.
- Immunomodulatory drugs
These drugs are one of the most important treatment types used to treat multiple myeloma. Immunotherapy drugs activate some processes of the immune system and make immune cells work against cancerous cells and stop the growth of tumors or kill the cancerous cells. Revlimid, Pomalyst, and Thalomid are some of the immunomodulatory drugs used to treat multiple myeloma.
Steroids can be used at all stages of multiple myeloma. These drugs decrease the flow of WBCs that helps to relieve symptoms such as pain and inflammation. When given in high doses, these drugs can kill the myeloma cells. Prednisone and dexamethasone are drugs used to treat multiple myeloma. Steroids also have some side effects that include changes in mood, sleep disorders, weight gain, and high blood sugar levels.
- Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors
Cancerous cells produce HDAC that helps the tumor cells to divide and grow rapidly. These drugs stop the production of HDAC and kill the cancer cells.
These drugs aim to enhance the person’s ability to fight against cancer by injecting antibodies in the body. These antibodies target myeloma cells and kill them. Emplicit, Darzalex, and Xgeva are the approved antibodies used to treat multiple myeloma.
Chemotherapy aims to kill the cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading. These drugs affect the division rate of myeloma cells. Healthy cells may also be affected by chemotherapy that results in some side effects that can be treated and prevented. These drugs are given to the patients orally and intravenously. Chemotherapy drugs may be given in combination with other drugs to speed up the recovery rate of the disease. Some chemotherapy drugs are Oncovin, Treanda, Cytoxan, and Doxil. Chemotherapy can last for months and given in cycles. These drugs may be given daily, weekly, or once per schedule.