Prognosis for Patients with Multiple Myeloma

Several factors can affect the expected outcome (prognosis) for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Generally, younger patients, patients with Stage I multiple myeloma, and patients without additional medical conditions have a more favorable prognosis than older patients, patients with advanced disease (Stage III multiple myeloma), and patients with other health concerns or chronic illnesses.

The myeloma cell labeling index is a laboratory test in which myeloma cells from bone marrow samples are examined to determine how fast they are growing. A high plasma cell labeling index indicates aggressive cancer that usually carries a less favorable prognosis.

Overall, the 5-year survival rate for patients with multiple myeloma is about 35%. However, recent improvements in treatment options may result in a better prognosis for many patients.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 02 Jul 2009

Last Modified: 14 Sep 2010