Treating myeloma

Find out about the different types of treatments there are for myeloma. The type of treatment you receive will depend on a number of factors, such as what stage your myeloma is at and what your symptoms are.


Treatments for myeloma can be very effective at controlling the disease, reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Unfortunately, however, myeloma is currently an incurable (terminal) cancer.

In general, treatment is given to:

  • Reduce the levels of myeloma as far as possible
  • Control the myeloma for as long as possible
  • Control the myeloma if it returns (this is called a relapse)
  • Relieve the symptoms and reduce the complications the myeloma is causing
  • Improve quality of life
  • Prolong life

Myeloma varies from person to person, and therefore so does treatment. Find out about the different types of treatment you may receive, at different stages of myeloma.

Initial treatments

Not everyone diagnosed with myeloma will need to start treatment immediately. The timing of treatment will depend on the results from various tests and investigations, together with any symptoms you have.

Supportive care treatments

Supportive treatments are commonly prescribed to help prevent or manage potential side effects of treatment combinations. They also treat the symptoms and complications of myeloma.

Treatments for relapsed myeloma

Myeloma is a relapsing-remitting cancer. This means there are periods when the myeloma is active and needs to be treated, followed by periods of stable disease where the myeloma does not need to be treated. A relapse is when myeloma returns or becomes active again after a period of successful treatment, and requires more treatment.

Clinical trials and novel drugs

Your doctor may talk to you about taking part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are planned research investigations, often intended to test new drugs or new combinations of current drugs.