Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is an integral part of the frontline therapy in eligible multiple myeloma (MM) patients. The impact of ASCT on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in myeloma has not been well described. We performed a systematic literature search to identify studies evaluating the impact of ASCT on HRQoL. Our search retrieved 12 relevant studies: 10 manuscripts and 2 conference abstracts. There was a widespread heterogeneity across studies in instruments used to measure HRQoL, time points of measurement, and statistical analysis. Only 1 study was a randomized controlled trial with HRQoL as a prespecified secondary endpoint. The common theme that emerged from most studies is that ASCT leads to an immediate deterioration in HRQoL and increase in symptom burden. However, baseline HRQoL and symptom scores are regained as early as 1 to 2 months post-transplantation. Furthermore, an improvement in HRQoL and pain on long-term follow-up was noted in some studies. We describe opportunities for further research in this area, including routine incorporation of HRQoL as an endpoint in transplant-related clinical trials and need for trials investigating interventions that may improve short and long-term HRQoL in myeloma ASCT recipients.
- Autologous stem cell transplantation
- Health-related quality of life
- Multiple myeloma
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