In most cases, multiple myeloma is still an incurable disease. The prognosis is very heterogenous. The median survival time was 3-5 years before the appearance of newer drugs (bortezomib, thalidomide, lenalidomide). There are many indications that patients now survive significantly longer from the time of diagnosis.
Factors associated with poor prognosis are:
- High serum level of ß2 microglobulin and C-reactive protein as well as low albumin values at the time of diagnosis
- Atypical plasma cell morphology and high proliferative activity
- Deletions/monosomy in chromosome 13 and 17, non-hypoploidy, and specially balanced translocations such as t(4;14), t(14;16)
Five-year relative survival for patients with multiple myeloma, in percent, during the diagnosis period 1974–2013.
Source: Cancer Registry of Norway