Multiple myeloma is a disease caused by the malignant proliferation of human plasma cells. It is an incurable hematological malignant tumor. In our country, multiple myeloma has surpassed acute leukemia and become the second most common hematological malignant tumor. It is a disease that seriously threatens people’s lives and health. Therefore, this field has also become the focus of scientific research and innovation, and many breakthrough technologies continue to emerge. .
Professor Qiu Lugui, director of the Hematology Hospital (Institute of Hematology) and Lymphoma Diagnosis and Treatment Center of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Drug development is to address the needs of patients. Innovative drugs for multiple myeloma have filled the treatment gaps in the past and also have a positive impact on existing treatments.” Treatment options continue to be optimized, bringing hope for long-term survival to many patients.”
The burden is heavy and it is imperative to improve public awareness
According to statistics, the number of new cases of multiple myeloma in my country every year is as high as 27,800. As a malignant hematological tumor that mostly occurs in the elderly, as the aging of the population in my country accelerates, the incidence rate of multiple myeloma will also increase year by year. Multiple myeloma is still incurable. Most patients with multiple myeloma will suffer from bone pain and fractures. About half of the patients will suffer from kidney damage and even need hemodialysis, which seriously affects the patient’s survival. While multiple myeloma brings an increasingly heavy disease burden, due to its slow onset and lack of typical symptoms, it is difficult to distinguish it from diseases in other departments. Patients often fail to arrive in time because they do not pay attention to or do not understand the symptoms. Visits to the hematology department lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
“Patients with multiple myeloma can be aware of early symptoms, which will help them avoid detours and avoid misdiagnosis in the early stages of the disease.” Professor An Gang, chief physician of the Hematology Hospital (Institute of Hematology), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Multiple myeloma Common symptoms of myeloma include hypercalcemia, renal damage, anemia and bone disease. Patients must have a certain understanding of these common symptoms. Only when relevant symptoms occur and they realize the possibility of multiple myeloma can they go to the hematology department in time to obtain medical treatment. Correct diagnosis and treatment.” Director An Gang added: “Accurate diagnosis of multiple myeloma is our characteristic. After the patient comes, we not only need to know whether the patient has myeloma, but also whether he is high-risk or low-risk, such as Indolent types of multiple myeloma can be temporarily not treated but monitored regularly, but high-risk patients need more aggressive treatments, such as first-line use of daratumumab, or even immunotherapy CAR-T or dual-antibody therapy in advance.”
“Unlike some types of multiple myeloma, which can be left untreated for the time being, treatment for primary light chain amyloidosis, another rare disease that is also a plasma cell malignant tumor, should be started as soon as possible once diagnosed.” Director Qiu Lugui Specially point out. Plasma cells in the patient’s bone marrow will produce abnormal amyloid light chains and continuously deposit them in vital organs, eventually leading to organ failure or even death. The patient is often diagnosed in the middle and late stages, and the median survival time is only 1-2 years. Director Qiu further explained: “This disease, like other malignant plasma cell diseases, is still difficult to treat. We currently use anti-plasma cell treatments, such as bortezomib combined with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone. The efficiency is very high, and if it can be further combined with daratumumab, the effect will be even better, further improving the remission rate and promoting the recovery of organ function.”
Medical insurance helps innovative drugs improve patient survival
Although multiple myeloma is still incurable, in the past decade, with the widespread use of innovative drugs in clinical treatment, the survival period of multiple myeloma patients in China has increased from the past 3-5 years to 7-8 years. Even longer, the disease has gradually become chronic. However, the mere clinical availability of innovative drugs cannot achieve the benefits of a wide range of patients. The high economic burden faced by patients with malignant tumors often limits the actual use of innovative drugs. Only when they are both available and affordable can the clinical value of innovative drugs be truly maximized. Fortunately, with the continued support of medical policies in recent years, innovative drugs have been included in the national medical insurance catalog more and faster, and their indications have also been continuously expanded.
“To be honest, the drug burden of patients with multiple myeloma in our country has indeed been declining year by year in recent years. For example, as daratumumab entered the medical insurance list from relapsed/refractory to first-line treatment this year, the price is also higher than It originally dropped by about 1/3, so these can indeed reduce the burden on patients.” Director Qiu Lugui said: “The improved accessibility of new drugs allows more people to receive standardized and standardized treatments, which increases the remission rate and disease control rate. Higher, the remission period and survival period are getting longer and longer.”
“In the future, on the one hand, we will provide patients with more standardized and precise treatments based on their different prognosis stratification. On the other hand, we will focus on the transition from basic research to clinical translation, providing services for particularly high-risk and repeatedly refractory patients. More treatment options.” Professor Qiu shared: “As the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration policy continues to deepen, more high-quality medical resources are gathered in Tianjin, and the hospital will continue to improve its hematological tumor medical service capabilities to cope with the increasing patient needs. .”