Multiple myeloma increases in incidence with age. With the aging of the population, the number of cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed in older adults each year will nearly double in the next 20 years. The novel therapeutic agents have significantly improved survival in older adults, but their outcomes remain poorer than in younger patients. Older adults may be more vulnerable to toxicity of therapy, resulting in decreased dose intensity and contributing to poorer outcomes. Data are beginning to emerge to aid in identifying which individuals are at greater risk for toxicity of therapy; comorbidities, functional limitations, and age over 80 years are among the factors associated with greater risk. Geriatric assessment holds promise in the care of older adults with multiple myeloma, both to allow modification of treatment to prevent toxicity, and to identify vulnerabilities that may require intervention. Emerging treatments with low toxicity and attention to individualizing therapy based on geriatric assessment may aid in further improving outcomes in older adults with multiple myeloma.
- Geriatric assessment
- Multiple myeloma