Multiple Myeloma Management in Primary Care

Multiple myeloma is a challenging condition for patients and health care providers alike. Despite a recent increase in prevalence of this condition, the prognosis for patients with multiple myeloma has significantly improved as new and evolving treatment options are being introduced into clinical practice.

Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH, discussed these new treatment options and standards of care during his session, “Understanding the Evolving Therapeutic Landscape in Multiple Myeloma: Primary Care Considerations,” at the 2022 Practical Updates in Primary Care Virtual Series. Dr Nooka is an associate professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and the director of the myeloma program at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute.

He begins his session with an overview of diagnostic strategies for individuals with suspected multiple myeloma, including the routine testing that should be done to define each patient’s staging and disease progression. He emphasized that health care practitioners should utilize the International Myeloma Working Group’s diagnostic criteria and the mSMART guidelines for prognostication and risk-stratification. 

He gave an overview of the various classes of therapeutics currently approved for use in patients with multiple myeloma and delved into the mechanisms of action, dosing, and adverse events associated with these various therapies. Further, Dr Nooka discussed how a patient’s eligibility for a stem cell transplant should inform the treatment paradigm.

“Understanding, identifying, and addressing the barriers that affect the multidisciplinary management – the biggest challenge is awareness of multiple myeloma,” Dr Nooka concluded. “The early diagnosis of multiple myeloma minimizes the end-organ damage, […] the disease-related comorbidity, improves the quality of life, and improves long term outcomes.”

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—Leigh Precopio



Nooka A. Understanding the evolving therapeutic landscape in multiple myeloma: primary care considerations. Talk presented at: Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series; September 8, 2022; Virtual.