Multiple myeloma (MM) is a neoplasm of plasma cells that is characterized by tumour cell tropism of the bone marrow and production of monoclonal immunoglobulins (Ig) detectable in serum and/or urine. It often manifests as one or more of lytic bone lesions, monoclonal protein in the blood or urine, disease in the bone marrow, renal failure, anemia, and hypercalcemia. Better understanding of the biology of myeloma has led to the development of agents, such as bortezomib, CC-5013, and thalidomide, that target the myeloma cell and the bone-marrow microenvironment. Ongoing trials promise to define the roles of new agents, mini-allogeneic transplantation, and maintenance therapy.
Key words: bone marrow, biology, transplant, chemotherapy, multiple myeloma.