Multiple myeloma is a B-cell malignancy with terminally differentiated plasma cell phenotype.
Multiple myeloma (MM) accounts for 1% of all malignancies.
The characteristic findings in MM are lytic bone disease, renal insufficiency, anemia, hypercalcemia, and immunodeficiency. The most common presenting symptoms are fatigue, bone pain, and recurrent infections.
Plasma cell dyscrasias can be divided into premalignant and malignant conditions. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a premalignant condition, whereas asymptomatic MM and active MM are malignant. Asymptomatic MM is differentiated from active myeloma by end-organ compromise designated by the acronym “CRAB” (hypercalcemia, renal insufficiency, anemia, or bone lesions).
The management of multiple myeloma is rapidly changing because novel agents designed to interrupt myeloma growth and survival pathways have entered into clinical usage.