As an academic medical center and the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center has more treatment options for patients with myeloma than anyone else in the region. Our approach is individualized to each patient and is always focused on helping patients live longer, higher-quality lives with the fewest side effects possible.
Medications to Treat Myeloma
At many institutions that treat myeloma, patients receive chemotherapy as a first-line treatment. At UT Southwestern, we administer a combination of three different myeloma medications – known as triple therapy. These targeted, novel therapy agents have fewer side effects compared to older chemotherapy treatments.
Triple therapy drugs target and disrupt specific pathways in the myeloma cells, helping clear them from the bone marrow and putting patients into remission.
For patients under age 75, triple therapy is followed by bone marrow transplantation and then maintenance therapy. Patients over age 75 stay on the triple therapy medications longer, followed by maintenance therapy.
UT Southwestern is one of just nine U.S. hospitals participating in the most advanced phases of CAR T-cell therapy clinical trials for multiple myeloma. CAR T is immunotherapy in which a patient’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell, are genetically modified to include a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that is designed to bind to specific proteins on cancer cells. This reprograms the T-cells to recognize and attack the patient’s specific cancer.
Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow transplant, also known as stem cell transplant, is a procedure to collect stem cells from the bone marrow and then put them back after the cancerous cells have been killed or reduced with high-dose chemotherapy. This effective treatment can keep patients in remission for a long time, even years.
Accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, UT Southwestern’s Bone Marrow Transplant program is recognized as one of the country’s top programs of its kind.
Maintenance Therapy for Myeloma
Maintenance therapy is our strategy to prevent or delay myeloma from returning or progressing. It involves the ongoing use of medications.
UT Southwestern offers clinical trials for patients at all stages of myeloma. Through these trials, our patients might be the first to benefit from the discovery of a new treatment being tested during a clinical trial for myeloma.