What Is Multiple Myeloma?




More Possibilities

A new option for patients with multiple myeloma: DARZALEX® can now be used in combination with Revlimid® (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone or Velcade® (bortezomib) and dexamethasone in patients who have received at least one prior medicine.

How does DARZALEX® work?
  • DARZALEX® is not chemotherapy. DARZALEX® is a monoclonal antibody that works with your immune system. Monoclonal antibodies work by attaching themselves to multiple myeloma cells in your body and directly killing them, and/or signaling your immune system to destroy them
  • DARZALEX® finds and attaches to a protein called CD38, which is present on the surface of cells, including high numbers on myeloma cells
  • The main goal of the study was to measure the length of time patients live without their multiple myeloma getting worse or their passing away from any cause
    • Another goal was to measure response rate, which is the percentage of patients who responded to treatment. Talk to your doctor about how response is measured
  • The majority of patients responded to the following DARZALEX® combination treatments:
    • ​DARZALEX® was studied in combination with Revlimid® and dexamethasone (Rd) vs Rd alone in 569 patients who had received a minimum of 1 prior treatment
      • 9 out of 10 patients responded to DARZALEX® + Rd vs 7 out of 10 with Rd alone
    • DARZALEX® was studied in combination with Velcade® and dexamethasone (Vd) vs Vd alone in 498 patients who had received a minimum of 1 prior treatment
      • Almost 8 out of 10 patients responded to DARZALEX® + Vd vs almost 6 out of 10 with Vd alone
  • DARZALEX® combination treatments reduced patients’ risk of their disease getting worse or their passing away from any cause by more than 60%

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Revlimid® is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation.
Velcade® is a registered trademark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

What Is Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer. It develops in the plasma cells, which are found in the part of your bones called bone marrow.

Plasma cells are a type of white blood cells that produce antibodies to help your immune system fight infections.

The cancerous plasma cells produce abnormal proteins, or M proteins. A high level of M proteins in the blood may damage the kidneys and weaken the immune system. These cancerous cells replace normal cells with tumors, usually in the bone marrow. The increase in diseased cells can also cause bone damage, resulting in bone pain or fractures.


What Is Multiple Myeloma?

Healthy and Diseased Bone Marrow


Multiple Myeloma Symptoms

Multiple myeloma symptoms may vary by patient, though some patients with multiple myeloma have no symptoms at all.

The most common multiple myeloma symptoms may include:
  • Bone pain, weakness, or fractures
  • Low blood count
    • Anemia—low levels of red blood cells in the blood, which may cause weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness
    • Leukopenia—low levels of white blood cells, which can increase susceptibility to infections and weaken the immune system
  • Hypercalcemia—high levels of calcium in the blood, which can cause changes in urination, dehydration, increased thirst, loss of appetite, and confusion
  • More frequent infections
  • Kidney damage
  • Nervous system problems, including nerve damage, which causes numbness, pain, and weakness

Talk with your healthcare provider about any symptoms and questions you may have.


Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma

The diagnosis of multiple myeloma is determined by a number of different tests. These include blood tests, urine tests, and a bone marrow biopsy. Imaging tests such as bone x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans may also be performed.