The IMF's Understanding series of booklets is designed to acquaint you with treatments and supportive care measures for multiple myeloma. These booklets are also available by mail order and communicate information in a format that is easy to read and understand.
Thalidomide is an oral immunomodulatory drug that is widely used throughout the myeloma disease course in the frontline, consolidation/maintenance, and relapse settings. Immunomodulatory drugs induce immune responses, enhance the activity of immune cells, and inhibit inflammation by altering the levels of various growth factors.
As treatment for myeloma improves and patients live longer, it is important to reduce the disability that can result from the painful problem of vertebral compression fractures, which occur when the vertebra collapses or fractures because the bone is too weak to withstand the pressure or stress placed upon it.
Velcade® (bortezomib) is a proteasome inhibitor that plays a role throughout the myeloma disease course, from induction therapy for the newly diagnosed, to a possible role as part of conditioning for stem cell transplant, to consolidation/maintenance therapy, to treatment for those whose myeloma has relapsed or become refractory.
This booklet outlines the tests that are used to diagnose and monitor myeloma, and to detect response and relapse. No single study is adequate to tell the whole story about a patient’s status but, used together, test results give a more complete picture.