ONCOLOGY

A histopathological image of multiple myeloma

Sharing ideas

New technology improves prostate cancer biopsies

issue 24 | Summer 2015

Myeloma treatment has improved significantly with the introduction of new classes of drugs — first immunomodulatory drugs, then the new biologic therapies and proteasome inhibitors. These advances have increased survival from less than four years to seven years or longer. Up to 98 percent of patients respond to these new therapies. In the last decade alone, nearly 20,000 additional people continue to live with multiple myeloma.

With these advances come more options for physicians and patients to consider for this rare disease, making the care of patients with multiple myeloma increasingly complex. To help optimize care across the region, a group of physicians have joined together to form the Great Lakes Multiple Myeloma Working Group. The group includes academics, large group practices and private institutions from Michigan and northern Ohio.

"Given how rapidly treatment options have changed in multiple myeloma, numerous controversies and uncertainties regarding the 'best' way to treat myeloma have arisen. Add to this complexity an expanding array of clinical trials available to patients, and decision-making in myeloma care can become extremely difficult. Being able to share ideas and practice styles is critical to improving care for all our patients," says Craig Cole, M.D., who runs the Multiple Myeloma Clinic at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.