Relationship between multiple myeloma and amyloidosis

In an interview for the Journal of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Luis Delgado, Director of Oncology at Puerto Rico Oncology Hospital, on the relationship between multiple myeloma disease and amyloidosis.

The multiple myeloma it is a Cancer of the cells plasma and occurs when cells they turn into cancer and get out of control. On the downside it is amyloidosis light chain is a growth disorder of cells abnormal plasma levels, but with less cells abnormal plasma levels in the bone marrow compared to the multiple myeloma

About 5-15% of patients with multiple myeloma develop amyloidosis according to a series from the Mayo Clinic, the frequency depends on the M component: IgA 2%, IgG 5%, light chains 17% and IgD 19% 3.

The cells Plasma cells that help us defend against infections are found in the bone marrow and begin to produce immunoglobulin to defend ourselves. Hence, a cascade of reactions in our body is triggered and takes place symptom associated with multiple myeloma This can include bone deterioration, hypercalcaemia, low hemoglobin.

The relationship between multiple myeloma and the amyloidosis often occurs because of the activity associated with it cells plasma and according to studies patients with myeloma could develop amyloidosis between a 5 to 15%.

Myeloma is much more common than amyloidosis and depending on the presentation of the patient, this gives an idea of ​​his diagnosis. Kidney failure, for example, is more evident in those who are suffering amyloidosisthe doctor explained. Moreover, he added that this disease is more aggressive compared to the patient presenting multiple myeloma

“In myeloma, we don’t see as many skin lesions as it is more common in amyloidosis,” added the specialist.


to exist medicines such as monoclonal antibodies and immunotherapy that work effectively to prevent, for example, proliferation of tumor cells. The survival of a patient in whom myeloma is detected early is about five years, the specialist said.

“The drugs currently in use are more specific and have less serious side effects,” said the doctor.

Steroids have always been a key element in the treatment of diabetes cells plasma. A red flag occurs when people have kidney failure and is not a result of being diabetic or having a history of it. diseaseThere are patients with multiple myeloma which are asymptomatic unlike amyloidosis which is already coming in symptom the person, the doctor explained.

Side effects

20 years ago we had standard chemotherapy and medicines they had a positive result. In addition, the patients received intravenous steroid chemotherapy and had to be admitted to a hospital setting for three or four days.

Now that medicine has new generations of proteasome inhibitors with fewer side effects, the benefit has been greater in terms of patients receiving chemotherapy have a significant response that reduces the risk that the disease to appear.

With regard to chemotherapies, monoclonal antibodies have also had considerable effectiveness, avoiding serious side effects in combination with immunotherapy, by activating the immune system in order to cells malicious.

We are currently using three medicines for the treatment of multiple myeloma and transplants that enable a much better quality of life for patients. Bone marrow transplantation is a procedure that is performed depending on the co-morbidity of the people and therefore cannot be performed in all patients as these diseases generally occur in older adults.