Treatment of multiple myeloma and acute myelogenous leukemia in the elderly: An update

V. Zagonel, R. Babare, S. Spazzapan, M. Rupolo, R. Bordonaro, F. Ferrara, A. Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optimal management of hematopoietic malignancies in the elderly requires the development of specific therapeutic strategies based on the peculiar clinico-biologic features of aged patients. Multiple myeloma arising in elderly patients remains at this time an incurable disease, while attention to supportive therapy and palliation can make a great impact on the quality of life. Fortunately advances have been made in last years in this field. Therapy at the time of diagnosis is usually recommended for patients with symptomatic disease, or for those who may be asymptomatic, but have evidence of high tumor burden of a biologically aggressive disease, and may be expected to progress and develop complications over a short period of time. Melphalan combined with prednisone remains the standard therapy choice in elderly patients. Radiotherapy maintains an important place in the palliation of destructive bone disease in poorly controlled myeloma, particularly in elderly patients. In Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, age has been concordantly reported as an adverse prognostic indicator in affecting both remission rates and survival. The overall unsatisfactory therapeutic results appear connected with host-related factors, and intrinsic differences in the biology of leukemia. Patients with standard risk should be included in collaborative trials aimed at improving the long-term results of conventional therapy. Patients with high risk and unfavorable prognostic factors, could be enrolled in controlled studies aimed at better assessing, in the elderly, the long term results of newer drug combinations. A watch and wait strategy, consisting of transfusion support and leukocytosis control, should be limited to patients with extremely poor performance status (PS), very limited life- expectancy and/or severe comorbidity displaying unfavorable biologic factors, including secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalRays - International Journal of Radiological Sciences
Issue number1 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Elderly
  • Multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of multiple myeloma and acute myelogenous leukemia in the elderly: An update'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this