Myelom-Gruppe Rhein-Main

Last modified: 12 January 2013

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapeutic agents are substances that inhibit the growth of tumour cells. In contrast to other malignant tumours that require immediate therapy, a multiple myeloma diagnosis does not necessarily justify an immediate course of chemotherapy. Nevertheless, chemotherapy should by all means be started

  • if symptoms occur such as a reduction in physical fitness, fatigue, loss of weight or bone pains,
  • if there is evidence of restricted kidney function,
  • given the occurrence of hypercalcemia (high level of calcium in the blood) or
  • if there are signs of increasing anaemia.

Specific cytostatic agents (medicine for inhibiting cell growth = chemotherapeutic agents), so-called alkylating agents, are particularly effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma. In some cases, alkylating agents, such as melphalan or cyclo-phosphamide, are combined with cortisone preparations.

The most frequent side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting. Further possible side effects are anaemia, inflammation of the mucous membranes, hair loss, damage to the nervous system and an increase in weight. Most of these side effects occur only during the period of chemotherapy treatment.

Your doctor will advise you as to which preparations and combinations can be considered for your chemotherapy treatment.