Considerable progress has beenmade in the treatment of multiple myeloma in the past decade withmedian survival for the disease improving significantly. This has come through a combination of better understanding of the disease biology and coordinated research into new treatment approaches including better supportive care. However, patients eventually become refractory to available treatments and succumb to the disease, highlighting the need to develop new treatment approaches. The genetic heterogeneity in the disease and clonal evolution under treatment pressure underlie the development of resistance, underscoring the need to develop more effective therapies that can eradicate the disease at initial treatment as well as the need for new classes of drugs with varyingmechanisms of action. To this end, there has been intense focus on exploring novel approaches to therapy including small-molecule inhibitors targeting specific abnormalities, immune therapies including monoclonal antibodies and adaptive T-cell therapy, as well as epigenetic approaches. Although many of these drugs are in the early stages of clinical development, the early data appear to be very promising. Many of these drugs can be safely and effectively combined with the current treatment classes such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs, further enhancing the treatment options for myeloma.
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