What Is New in the Treatment of Smoldering Multiple Myeloma?

Niccolo' Bolli, Nicola Sgherza, Paola Curci, Rita Rizzi, Vanda Strafella, Mario Delia, Vito Pier Gagliardi, Antonino Neri, Luca Baldini, Francesco Albano, Pellegrino Musto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), an asymptomatic plasma cell neoplasm, is currently diagnosed according to the updated IMWG criteria, which reflect an intermediate tumor mass between monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and active MM. However, SMM is a heterogeneous entity and individual case may go from an "MGUS-like" behavior to "early MM" with rapid transformation into symptomatic disease. This wide range of clinical outcomes poses challenges for prognostication and management of individual patients. However, initial studies showed a benefit in terms of progression or even survival for early treatment of high-risk SMM patients. While outside of clinical trials the conventional approach to SMM generally remains that of close observation, these studies raised the question of whether early treatment should be offered in high-risk patients, prompting evaluation of several different therapeutic approaches with different goals. While delay of progression to MM with a non-toxic treatment is clearly achievable by early treatment, a convincing survival benefit still needs to be proven by independent studies. Furthermore, if SMM is to be considered less biologically complex than MM, early treatment may offer the chance of cure that is currently not within reach of any active MM treatment. In this paper, we present updated results of completed or ongoing clinical trials in SMM treatment, highlighting areas of uncertainty and critical issues that will need to be addressed in the near future before the "watch and wait" paradigm in SMM is abandoned in favor of early treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number421
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2021

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