Multiple myeloma (MM) is an uncommon malignant plasma cell disorder that often presents in older adults. An accurate diagnosis is critical as a spectrum of plasma cell disorders have been defined, including monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, smouldering/asymptomatic multiple myeloma, multiple myeloma, and plasma cell leukemia. Although multiple myeloma is incurable disease, survival over 7 years is possible, during which patients can enjoy a good quality of life. Many therapeutic options now exist for individuals with MM who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation; these include adding thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide to the current standard of melphalan and prednisone.
Key words: multiple myeloma, MGUS, older adults, plasma cell leukemia, supportive care.