The International Myeloma Foundation has declared March as ‘Myeloma Awareness Month’. Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common haematological malignancy, with an estimated 24,000 new cases reported in 2014 in the US alone.
MM is a cancer of the blood which develops in the bone marrow. Normal anti-body producing plasma cells transform into malignant myeloma cells. These plasma cells proliferate rapidly in the bone marrow resulting in unusually high amounts of monoclonal proteins (M-protein) in the blood. These malignant cells inhibit production of normal blood cells and other antibodies in the bone marrow leading to many complications including renal failure and osteoporosis, sub populations which the Epiomic Database defines.
Although a number of new therapies have been introduced in the last few years, the five year survival rate for MM patients is relatively low at 37%. The Epiomic Database not only presents incidence statistics but also endeavours to provide a clear picture of the population segmented by crucial diagnostic and classification stages of this disease, predictive of patient outcome.
Did you know ... Myeloma incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older men and women. In the UK between 2009 and 2011, an average of 43% of cases were diagnosed in people aged 75 years and over.