NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Multiple Myeloma, Version 1.2014
Treatments for myeloma
Chemotherapy drugs kill fast-growing cells throughout
the body, including cancer cells and normal cells.
Many people refer to this treatment as “chemo.”
Cancer cells grow fast, so chemotherapy works
well to stop new cancer cells from being made.
Chemotherapy can also affect normal cells. Some
chemotherapy drugs can also cause much damage to
your bone marrow.
Chemotherapy is given in cycles of treatment days
followed by days of rest. The cycles vary in length
depending on which drugs are used. Often, the cycles
are 14, 21, or 28 days long. Chemotherapy cycles
also give the body a chance to recover before the
next treatment. Most of the chemotherapy drugs listed
are liquids that are slowly injected into
a vein. Some are a pill that is swallowed. The drugs
travel in the bloodstream to treat cancer throughout
Steroids are a type of drug used to relieve swelling
and inflammation, but some steroids have anti-cancer
effects. For myeloma, steroids can be used alone to
treat myeloma or used with chemotherapy, targeted
therapy, or both.
See Chart 3.1
for a list of steroids
used to treat myeloma.
Chart 3.1 Drug treatments for multiple myeloma
Brand name (sold as)
Type of drug