Major advances have occurred in our understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma (MM) and in its treatment in the past decade. Mew diagnostic criteria have been developed, and an International Staging System has replaced the Durie-Salmon Staging System. It is now possible to classify MM as standard risk or high risk on the basis of specific independent prognostic factors. The role of single and double autologous stem cell transplantation has been clarified by randomized trials. Most importantly, thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide have emerged as new active agents and are being incorporated rapidly into the treatment of both newly diagnosed and relapsed MM. The current approach to the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of MM is reviewed.
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