Introducing NMDP, formerly known as the National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match. Our name has changed but our mission has not: We save lives through cell therapy. Learn More

Single transplant effective for multiple myeloma

Age20 - 70 years old
Number of Participants758
Research GoalImprove Survival
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in the blood. In an autologous, or auto, transplant, doctors first collect some of a person’s own healthy blood-forming cells. After getting chemotherapy (chemo) to kill cancer cells, the person gets their own cells back through an intravenous (IV) infusion. 

In this study, 758 adults with multiple myeloma were treated at 54 medical centers around the U.S. from 2010 to 2017. The people were randomly divided into 3 treatment groups: 
  • 1 auto transplant 
  • 2 auto transplants (also called tandem transplants) 
  • 1 auto transplant plus extra medicines, called RVD 

Then, everyone took a medicine called lenalidomide for maintenance therapy. 

The treatments worked equally well, scientists said. At 3 years after transplant: 
  • The myeloma was not worse for more than half the people 
  • About 80% (8 out of 10 people) were alive 

The chemo to prepare for transplant has side effects. And the extra medicines, called RVD, have side effects, too. So, it is helpful to know that just 1 transplant works as well as 2 transplants or 1 transplant plus RVD. With only 1 transplant, people might have side effects less often than if they had many treatments. 

Consider asking your doctor 

What is the best treatment for me?