UNDERSTANDING RELAPSED OR REFRACTORY MULTIPLE MYELOMA

What does it mean to have relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in plasma cells, which are white blood cells that normally fight infections.

  • Multiple myeloma develops after healthy plasma cells, located in the bone marrow, mutate into cancerous myeloma cells
  • When these cells become cancerous, they stop producing normal antibodies and produce antibodies that do not help the body 
  • The cancerous myeloma cells grow uncontrollably, crowding out new healthy blood cells made in the bone marrow, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets 
  • The cancerous myeloma cells can overtake normal blood cells in the bone marrow, destroy bone tissue, and spread all over the body

Relapse: when a disease returns after a period of improvement.

Refractory disease: when a disease does not respond to a treatment.

Impact of myeloma on healthy cells
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Remember, you are not alone in your multiple myeloma journey. There are treatment options available.

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