What is the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

MM is extremely sensitive to radiation. Physicians use radiation to treat symptomatic lesions and to stabilize bones at risk for fracture. Physicians also use radiation to treat spinal cord compression. Low-dose, double-hemibody irradiation has been studied as systemic therapy for refractory or relapsed MM, but without dramatic success.

If the pain is mild and if less than 50% of the bone is involved, a course of irradiation can be initiated. Radiation treatment can result in additional early bone loss due to inflammation, and weight bearing should be limited for the first 4-6 weeks.


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