How Often Does Amyloidosis Occur in Myeloma Patients?
How Often Does Amyloidosis Occur in Myeloma Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
Multiple myeloma patients may sometimes experience amyloidosis, but how often does it occur? Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi from the Mayo Clinic explains amyloidosis, amyloidosis frequency, and how it can impact some myeloma treatments.
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We have a pretty specific question here about amyloidosis, so how often does amyloidosis occur in myeloma patients, and does it change the treatment if they do have amyloidosis?
Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi:
Excellent question again. So I would like to clarify that amyloid is a specific kind of different kind of abnormal protein that can be produced by plasma cells. All of us have these proteins that are…these proteins that are developed as very…or produced in the body is very small molecules and then they fold upon themselves to make different building blocks for the body. If that folding process is misfolded or abnormal, these amyloid fibers can develop and they can deposit anywhere in the body, and whatever the deposit they cause their symptoms.
Now, amyloid can be present in two different ways, either amyloid is the primary problem and is being produced by the plasma cells, or sometimes patients who have multiple myeloma and are on treatment for multiple myeloma can either start developing some amyloid protein or…or they can have amyloid deposited in certain organ, heart, kidneys, like the gut, etcetera, the occurrence of amyloid in a myeloma patient, it’s not a common phenomenon, I would say anywhere in 10 to 15 percent of cases that we know of, maybe this present, others that we don’t pick, but once even we find out that amyloid is present in a case of multiple myeloma.
If, for example, amyloid is present in the heart, if we are using any drugs that may have some heart-related side effects, we may need to adjust doses, if amyloid is present in the kidneys, if you’re using some drugs that have kidney-related implications, we may need to adjust the dose, etcetera, broadly, the treatment stays the same, but there is a higher risk to kidneys, higher risk to heart, etcetera in amyloid patients or patients who develop amyloid, so we have to take that into account, sometimes choice of treatment changes, sometimes dose of treatment changes sometimes impact on certain organs change broadly. For a myeloma patient who develops amyloid, the treatment can stay very similar to what would have happened even if amyloid was not present, except some small tweaks.