How will the new IMWG definition of active multiple myeloma impact clinical practice?

FAQ Library published on August 18, 2016
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Sagar Lonial, MD, FACP
Chair and Professor
Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Chief Medical Officer
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Hi and welcome to Managing Myeloma. My name is Dr. Sagar Lonial, and I am a Professor at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am frequently asked how the new IMWG definition of active myeloma will impact clinical practice.

I think it has had an immediate impact on clinical practice, because there are a number of patients that now fit the definition of symptomatic myeloma that previously many of us practitioners were very uncomfortable with observing. These are patients with very high levels of free-light chain abnormality and patients who may have normal skeletal surveys but had bone abnormalities by MRI or CT scans, or patients that simply had very high levels of disease burden as evidenced by greater than 60% plasma cells in the bone marrow. What the new criteria allow us to do is to initiate treatment on these patients who clearly have a high risk of progression in a very short time and prevent the development of significant comorbidities such as fractures, anemia, thrombocytopenia, infections, or the incidence of renal failure. So, I think these guidelines are really quite important and help us as practitioners take better care of our patients. Thank you and please tune into ManagingMyeloma.com for additional frequently asked questions.

Last modified: August 10, 2016
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