Background: Despite the progress made in recent years, multiple myeloma is still considered an incurable disease. Most survival data come from clinical trials. Little is known about the outcome in unselected real-life patients.
Methods:Overall survival was analyzed in a cohort of newly diagnosed symptomatic multiple myeloma patients, over the last three decades, in a single institution population-based study.
Results: 582 consecutive myeloma patients were included in the study. Survival increased over time in patients younger than 65 years but did not reach statistical significance in patients with 65 years or older. The prognostic factors associated with overall survival were the International Staging System, the serum lactate dehydrogenase level, the renal impairment, the realization of autologous stem cell transplantation, and the presence of concomitant amyloidosis. Overall survival shows a steady improvement over time.
Interpretation: The survival of myeloma is improving progressively in real-life patients, particularly after the widespread use of the novel agents. A comprehensive assessment of comorbidity can help to explain the huge heterogeneity of myeloma outcome. The optimization of current therapeutic resources as well as the incorporation of new drugs will allow further improvement of survival in the coming years.