Multiple Myeloma Overview

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Treating Multiple Myeloma TOPICS

Biologic therapy for multiple myeloma

Biologic therapy (or immunotherapy) is treatment that uses proteins that are normally found in the body to fight disease. Interferon is a hormone-like substance made by some white blood cells and bone marrow cells. Interferon slows the growth of myeloma cells. A man-made version of this substance is sometimes used along with chemotherapy (chemo). But interferon has mostly helped patients who have had chemo and are in remission (there is no sign of the cancer). It seems to make remission last longer.

Side effects of this drug include tiredness and flu-like symptoms. Some patients have trouble dealing with these symptoms. But overall, the benefits of longer remission and fewer symptoms usually outweigh these side effects.

Last Medical Review: 05/22/2014
Last Revised: 06/19/2014