Because smoldering myeloma isn't quite active myeloma, a question remains of which treatment approach is best for a smoldering patient. In a recent interview with Patient Power, Dr. Carol Ann Huff, Dr. Suzanne Lentzsch, Dr. Sagar Lonial and Jennifer Ahlstrom of the Myeloma Crowd addressed this topic.
Treating patients earlier before they develop organ damage, anemia, or hypercalcemia would be ideal for smoldering myeloma. However, there are still studies underway addressing exactly how aggressive a treatment should be. Smoldering patients can continue being smoldering for a long period of time without the side effects of an early therapy treatment, noted Dr. Lonial.
"I think we’re all very much in favor, if we are able to treat patients prior to them becoming symptomatic and improving their longevity, as well as their quality of life, we’re all supportive of that." --Dr. Huff
As of yet, there is no standard of care for smoldering myeloma patients. Each situation needs to be addressed individually.
Dr. Lentzsch concluded, "...patients have to be careful not to make the mistake to say, 'Oh, I have smoldering myeloma, and I need treatment right away.' I think the question needs to be answered in randomized trials."
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Myeloma Crowd Editorial Contributor, Nursing student, and cancer advocate.