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Assessing the Value of Complete Response in Patients with Multiple Myeloma

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The treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) is advancing to the point where it is becoming a chronic disease.1 Although not yet curable,2 myeloma is now characterized by prolonged survival times1 and improved quality of life.3,4 An important determinant of outcomes is the achievement of a good response to therapy. This prompts clinicians to aim for complete response (CR) following initial treatment and following consolidation with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).
The quality of response to treatment, especially durable CR, has been associated with prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).4 In the past, CR—the elimination of detectable disease—occurred rarely in the treatment of myeloma.4 However, the introduction of ASCT and novel, molecularly targeted agents such as bortezomib and lenalidomide has dramatically improved response rates,4 and CR is now an eminently achievable goal.

Last modified: March 7, 2019
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