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Multiple Myeloma & Other Plasma Cell Cancers Pathfinder

According to the A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia, multiple myelomais a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. Multiple myeloma is characterized by the excessive growth and malfunction of plasma cells. The growth of these extra plasma cells interferes with the production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This causes anemia, susceptibility to infection, and increased tendencies toward bleeding.

As the cancer cells grow and expand in the bone marrow, they also cause pain and destruction of the bones. If the bones in the spine are affected, compression of the nerves may result, causing numbness or paralysis. Renal failure (kidney failure) is a frequent complication caused by excess calcium in the blood that results from bone destruction. Multiple myeloma mainly affects older adults. Other risk factors are unknown. This disease is rare; only 3 new cases per 100,000 people per year occur.

Internet Resources Books Journal Articles Support

Internet Resources Multiple Myeloma and Other Plasma Cell Cancers
Provides access to authoritative documents from the National Cancer Institute, including information about treatment, supportive care, and clinical trials..
MedlinePlus: Multiple Myeloma
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. Look for familiar links to places like the National Institutes of Health.

Books (All of these books are available at the Health Learning Center.)

100 questions & answers about myeloma. Bashey A. and Huston J. 2005.
Everyone's Guide to Cancer Therapy. Dollinger M. 2002.
Live Longer, Live Larger: A Holistic Approach for Cancer Patients and Families. Buchholz B. 2001.
Multiple Myeloma: Gale encyclopedia of cancer 2. v. 2:805-812. Longe J. Ed. 2006. Available online at Click on Health Information and then on Virtual Library.

Journal Articles

"Early versus deferred treatment for early stage multiple myeloma." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (1):CD004023. He Y., et al. 2003.
"Emerging Drugs in Multiple Myeloma." Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs. 12(1):155-163. Ghobrial IML. 2007.
"High-Dose Therapy with Single Autologous Transplantation Versus Chemotherapy for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." Biology of Blood & Marrow Transplantation. 13(2):183-196. Koreth J. 2007.
"Multiple Myeloma: A Review of the Epidemiologic Literature." International Journal of Cancer. 120 suppl 12:40-61. Alexander DD. 2007.
"Relevant Prognostic Features of Multiple Myeloma and the New International Staging System." Leukemia & Lymphoma. 48(3):458-468. Gertz MA. 2007.
"Treatment of multiple myeloma. Blood." 103(1):20-32. Barlogie B., et al. 2004.


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. The Society's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Research Foundation (MMRF) was founded in 1998 by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti following Kathy's diagnosis with multiple Myeloma. Today, the MMRF is the world's number one private funder of myeloma specific research.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-926-4282.