How do infections affect 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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Infections are an important cause of early death in MM. In a United Kingdom study, 10% of patients died within 60 days after diagnosis of MM, and 45% of those deaths were due to infection. [25] In a Swedish study, 22% of patients died of infection within the first year after diagnosis. The risk of both bacterial infections (eg, meningitis, septicemia, pneumonia) and viral infections (eg, herpes zoster, influenza) was seven times higher in patients with MM than in matched controls. The Swedish investigators also found that the risk of infections has increased in recent decades, and they argue that the use of more intensive treatment measures for MM (ie, newer drugs and high-dose chemotherapy with transplantation) has contributed to the increased risk. [26]

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