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What are Relapsed and Refractory Myeloma?
Posted: Jun 11, 2024
What are Relapsed and Refractory Myeloma? image

Myeloma patients may hear the terms “relapsed” and “refractory” when healthcare professionals discuss the disease. Learn what relapsed and refractory myeloma are and the treatment options available. 

What is Relapsed Myeloma? 

Relapsed myeloma is when the cancer improves after treatment but later returns. The disease can return within months or years after starting treatment. If myeloma relapses within six months of treatment, it may indicate a more aggressive form of myeloma. 

Most myeloma patients experience relapses. If you feel fear about a relapse, communicate this to your healthcare team for support. There are many treatment options for relapsed myeloma. 

What is Refractory Myeloma? 

Refractory myeloma, sometimes called progressive disease, grows despite treatment. If one treatment option does not work for you, there is a good chance another myeloma treatment will. 

Symptoms of myeloma growth include: 

  • Increase of M proteins in blood or urine 
  • Increase of plasma cells in bone marrow 
  • Increase in the number or size of bone lesions

Watch the HealthTree University video below to learn more about relapsed and refractory myeloma from experts! 

What are the Treatment Options for Relapsed/Refractory Myeloma? 

Treatment options for relapsed/refractory myeloma include: 

  • Clinical trial 
  • Triplet combinations 
  • Stem cell transplant 
  • CAR T-cell therapy 
    • Ide-cel (Abecma) or cilta-cel (Carvykti)
  • Bispecific antibodies
    • Elranatamab (Elrexfio)
    • Talquetamab (Talvey)
    • Teclistamab (Tecvayli)

Examples of triplet combinations include: 

(Image source: NCCN Myeloma Patient Guidelines)

If your myeloma has relapsed or become refractory, talk with a myeloma specialist to develop the best treatment plan for you. 

Learn More About Relapsed & Refractory Myeloma from Experts 

Watch the HealthTree University Unit about relapsed and refractory myeloma by clicking the button below! 

Watch the Relapsed & Refractory Myeloma HealthTree University Unit


The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, and cooking.