What is the role of allogeneic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In highly selected patients with MM, physicians may use allogeneic (ie, from someone else) transplantation. In this approach, physicians administer myeloablative therapy and infuse stem cells (ie, peripheral blood or bone marrow) obtained from a donor, preferably a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical sibling.

The advantage of this approach over autologous transplantation is that the patient is not at risk of being reinfused with MM cells. In addition, the donor’s immune system may fight the recipient’s cancer (ie, graft vs myeloma effect). Unfortunately, the donor’s immune system may also attack the recipient’s body (ie, graft vs host effect).

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