What is the prognosis of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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MM is a heterogeneous disease, with survival ranging from 1 year to more than 10 years. Median survival in unselected patients with MM is 3 years. The 5-year relative survival rate is 46.6%. [21] Survival is higher in younger people and lower in the elderly. [15, 23]

The tumor burden and the proliferation rate are the two key indicators for the prognosis in patients with MM. Many schemas have been published to aid in determining the prognosis. One schema uses C-reactive protein (CRP) and beta-2 microglobulin (which is an expression of tumor burden) to predict survival, as follows [24] :

  • If levels of both proteins are less than 6 mg/L, the median survival is 54 months.
  • If the level of only one component is less than 6 mg/L, the median survival is 27 months.
  • If levels of both protein values are greater than 6 mg/L, the median survival is 6 months.

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