Background: The overall prognosis of multiple myeloma has improved significantly over the last 15 years. We wondered whether the overall improvement would also be seen in unselected patients in an academic center in Northwest Louisiana with a high proportion of minority patients, and if second malignant neoplasms are relevant for our patients.
Materials and Methods: Between 1998 and 2009, 215 patients were treated for multiple myeloma at our center and had complete follow-up until May 2013.
Results: The mean survival of patients with multiple myeloma increased from 3.25 to 5.34 years, which is comparable to patients treated at larger centers. No prognostic difference was observed in the subgroups of myeloma patients. Among 215 patients followed for the development of secondary cancers, 16 already had a preexisting or concomitant malignancy (7.4%) and 10 developed secondary cancers. Our data indicate a significant background of histologically unrelated cancers and a cumulative incidence of new cancers of about 20% after 10 years of follow-up. Based on SEER data, preexisting or secondary cancers were not statistically increased in our population.
Conclusions: The use of autologous transplantation and the introduction of new agents resulted in a significant improvement in the prognosis of multiple myeloma. Other cancers are not statistically increased before or after multiple myeloma is diagnosed and are not prognostically relevant.