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Treatments for Multiple Myeloma

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Treatments for Multiple Myeloma

For now, there is no cure for multiple myeloma (MM). The goal is to kill cancer cells, slow the progress of the disease, and ease symptoms. The plan will depend on the type of MM and how fast it is growing. It will also depend on symptoms, age, and overall health.

Smoldering MM may be found early before it causes problems. A period of watchful waiting may be advised. This means you and your doctor will watch for changes or signs the disease is progressing. Treatment will be put off until problems appear.

Symptomatic MM needs to be treated. The main method is chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is used to help ease certain symptoms. A stem cell transplant may be done for some people to help them live longer. But, it does not lead to a cure and may not work for everyone. Other problems, such as osteoporosis, infections, or anemia, will also be treated.

Your care team is made up of many types of health professionals. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists. Keep in touch with your team and to go recommended appointments. This will help you get the most from the treatments.

MM treatment may include:

Treatments for many cancers are always changing. Some have yet to be found. As a result, clinical trials exist around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should enlist in a clinical trial. You can find out about them at the US National Institutes of Health website.


  • Michels TC, Petersen KE. Multiple myeloma: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017;95(6):373-383A.
  • Multiple myeloma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116888/Multiple-myeloma.
  • Multiple myeloma. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/plasma-cell-disorders/multiple-myeloma.
  • Treating multiple myeloma. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/treating/radiation.html.
  • Treatment. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: https://www.lls.org/disease-information/myeloma/treatment.
  • Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/myeloma/patient/myeloma-treatment-pdq#_46.


  • Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.