Radiotherapy in Combination with Systemic Therapy for Multiple Myeloma—A Critical Toxicity Evaluation in the Modern Treatment Era

Michael Oertel*, Tom Schlusemann, Evgenii Shumilov, Gabriele Reinartz, Anne Bremer, Stephan Rehn, Georg Lenz, Cyrus Khandanpour, Hans Theodor Eich

*Corresponding author for this work


Radiotherapy (RT) is an established treatment modality in the management of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), aiming at analgesia and stabilization of osteolytic lesions. As a multifocal disease, the combined use of RT, systemic chemotherapy, and targeted therapy (ST) is pivotal to achieve better disease control. However, adding RT to ST may lead to increased toxicity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the tolerability of ST given concurrently with RT. Overall, 82 patients treated at our hematological center with a median follow-up of 60 months from initial diagnosis and 46.5 months from the start of RT were evaluated retrospectively. Toxicities were recorded from 30 days before RT up to 90 days after RT. 54 patients (65.9%) developed at least one non-hematological toxicity, with 50 patients (61.0%) showing low-grade (grade I or II) and 14 patients (17.1%) revealing high-grade (grade III and IV) toxicities. Hematological toxicities were documented in 50 patients (61.0%) before RT, 60 patients (73.2%) during RT, and 67 patients (81.7%) following RT. After RT, patients who had received ST during RT showed a significant increase in high-grade hematological toxicities (p = 0.018). In summary, RT can be safely implemented into modern treatment regimens for MM, but stringent monitoring of potential toxicities even after completion of RT has to be ensured.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2909
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 06.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-14 Haematology, Oncology

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