What is the role of radiation therapy 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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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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