Myeloma

Myeloma treatment at GenesisCare

We are specialists in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating all types of cancer, including myeloma. We have teams of highly trained cancer specialists that are experts in this disease who work together to evaluate the newest, evidence-based approaches so we can offer these to every patient – without delay.

Chapter 1

Treatment overview

Treatment for myeloma may include chemotherapy, steroids, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and transplants. We combine this with consultant-led integrative care, such as wellbeing therapies and psychological support, to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Our qualified physiotherapists and wellbeing consultants will carefully plan these therapies tailored to your needs by working with you and your consultant.

Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects your bone marrow – the spongy tissue within the centre of some bones which produces the body's blood cells. Sometimes called multiple myeloma, the condition can affect multiple parts of the body at once, such as the spine, ribs and pelvis.

According to Cancer Research UK, around 5,800 new cases of myeloma are diagnosed each year in the UK, and its more common in men than women. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the outcome for many patients. 

We are the UKs leading specialist private cancer care provider. By choosing us, you can be reassured that your treatment will be managed by a team of specialists working together with you to decide the best personalised care plan for your diagnosis. 

It is our commitment to offering world-class care to every patient with cancer. 

How is myeloma treated? 

There are a number of options of treatment available for myeloma at GenesisCare, such as:  

  • Chemotherapy – anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs which destroy the cancerous cells 
  • Steroids – anti-inflammatory medication that kills cancerous cells and improves the effectiveness of other myeloma treatments 
  • Targeted therapy – a specialised group of drugs that attack or block certain processes in the cancer cells, causing them to die  
  • Immunotherapy – drugs that help your bodys immune system recognise and fight the cancer 
  • Radiotherapy – high-energy radiation beams which are targeted at the cancer cells 
  • Transplants – replace abnormal blood cells and damaged stem cells 

Contact us

These web pages provide information about myeloma treatment at GenesisCare. If you would like to contact us in confidence, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Contact us
Chapter 2

Diagnostics

How is myeloma diagnosed?

At GenesisCare, we diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers and we understand that this can be a very worrying time for you. Our diagnostic services are world-class and our commitment is to give you the answers you need, as quickly as possible. Its important to remember that symptoms can often be caused by conditions other than myeloma cancer. Whatever your diagnosis, we can make sure you get the expert care you need and without delay. 

If youre concerned about potential myeloma symptoms, we offer fast access to specialist myeloma tests and diagnostics. We also offer a dedicated Rapid Access Haematology Service at some of our centresHere youll see one of our expert consultants who specialise in blood and bone marrow cancers. Theyll assess your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you for diagnostic tests such as blood testsbone marrow aspirate biopsy, MRI and PET/CT scanning. Appointments are usually available within 24 hours. 

What are the symptoms of myeloma?

Myeloma doesnt always cause symptoms in its early stages, and many people are diagnosed during a routine blood test before they have any noticeable signs.  

The most common myeloma symptoms are bone pain and fracturing, but other warning signs can include: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Back pain 
  • Bone pain 
  • Recurring infections 
  • Kidney damage 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Unusual bruising and bleeding 
  • Changes in your appetite 

If you have any concerns, you should seek medical advice or book an appointment through our Rapid Access Haematology Service.

Rapid Access Haematology Service

Our specialist team of haematology consultants can assess and diagnose conditions quickly so you can get the answers you need and plan any treatment immediately.
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Chapter 3

Drug treatments

At GenesisCare, we offer all drug therapies that can be used to treat and manage myeloma, including many of the newest treatments. Depending on how these treatments are given to you, you may need to attend one of our private chemotherapy suites which are staffed by our specialist nurses. Our compassionate nursing teams are available 24/7 on a dedicated on-call telephone service and can answer any queries during your treatment. They'll be able to provide advice about side effects or symptoms and help arrange appropriate medical care when needed.

Our centres have all received the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark to reflect the quality of care we provide for people living with cancer. 

There are different types of drug treatments, also called systemic anti-cancer therapies. Our expert teams continually review and assess new treatments to make these available to GenesisCare patients as early as possible. 

Chemotherapy for myeloma 

Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancerous cells. It can be used to treat myeloma on its own or alongside other treatments such as steroids and targeted therapies.  

If initial treatment doesnt improve your condition, you may have a course of high-dose chemotherapy. Although intensive chemotherapy can successfully treat myeloma, it may also mean that youll need to have a stem cell transplant alongside this treatment. 

Steroids for myeloma 

Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used to fight against myeloma. They can be given on their own to kill the myeloma cells or prescribed alongside other treatments such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy to help improve the effectiveness of treatment.  

Targeted therapy for myeloma 

Targeted (also called biological) therapies are a specialised group of drugs that are designed to attack or block certain processes in cancer cells that tumours depend on to survive and grow. We have several targeted therapies available for myeloma treatment which may be combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy and steroids.  

Immunotherapy for myeloma 

Immunotherapy works by helping your bodys immune system to recognise and fight the cancer. There are several types of immunotherapy available for myeloma, and your doctor will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment according to your condition. 

Relapsed myeloma 

If your myeloma returns after previously being treated, its called a relapse. Myeloma often relapses slowly, so when it comes back, you may not need treatment right away. At GenesisCare, you can receive drug treatments for relapsed myeloma to reduce your cancer’s progress and ease any symptoms. Myeloma can cause significant pain and fracturing in your bones, and you may also be given bisphosphonate medicine to help reduce these side effects.  

Clinical trials  

There may be opportunities to access clinical trials for the newest treatments for myeloma. Clinical trials can be considered a suitable treatment option if youve exhausted standard therapies or evidence suggests the trial treatment will be more successful at treating your condition. Your haematologist will discuss these opportunities in more detail with you.  

Drug treatment side effects 

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you depending on your drug treatment, together with the ways in which your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Chapter 4

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy uses targeted, high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. Its often used to treat areas that have not responded to previous myeloma drug treatments and are causing pain.  

At GenesisCare we are the leading private provider of radiotherapy in the UK. We offer world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and advanced radiotherapy techniques. Our latest-generation radiotherapy machines (called linacs) deliver highly targeted radiation beams that are designed to be effective while minimising the radiation dose to healthy tissues. 

Your treatment will be governed by our expert multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), consisting of oncologists, radiotherapists and medical physicists. Theyll work together to ensure that you receive only the best possible care. 

Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) is a modern radiotherapy technique that directs beams of radiation in an arc across the treatment area. Together with surface-guided radiotherapy (SGRT), its possible to precisely target areas of cancer, adjusting the beam and intensity of the radiation dose to allow for movements in the body and avoid healthy tissues. Side effects of radiotherapy occur when healthy tissues receive radiation, so using this technique helps to limit the dose to tissues and organs surrounding the tumour. At GenesisCare, we offer VMAT wherever possible because it is widely recognised to be the highest standard of care currently available for patients needing this type of radiotherapy. 

Side effects of radiotherapy 

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you before you start your course of radiotherapy, together with the ways your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Advanced radiotherapy
Chapter 5

Transplants

Transplants are often used after high-dose chemotherapy, forming part of an overall treatment and care plan for myeloma. Transplants are needed to replace abnormal blood cells and damaged stem cells and to keep myeloma in remission.

Our consultants themselves, or in collaboration with leading haematologists who are experts in transplants for blood and bone marrow cancers, will offer this. If your consultant recommends a transplant, this can be arranged conveniently at one of our partner hospitals. You can then continue your other treatments at GenesisCare.

Stem cell transplants

Stem cells are early types of cells which are found in your bone marrow and can develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When treating myeloma, stem cell transplants are used after high-dose chemotherapy to replace the abnormal blood cells and damaged stem cells.  

Youll likely have an autologous stem cell transplant, where the stem cells are collected from your body before chemotherapy. You may need an allogenic transplant in some rare instances, where the stem cells have come from an appropriately matched donor.  

Transplant side effects

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you, together with the ways your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Chapter 6

Integrative care

At GenesisCare, we do more than just treat your cancer. As part of our unique and integrative approach to cancer care, you can expect the best possible care and a personalised treatment plan that includes access to life-changing therapies which are proven to improve cancer-related outcomes. These therapies will be tailored to you to help you manage and cope with your cancer as well as the specific side effects of treatment.

Exercise medicine

Exercise medicine is a personalised programme of carefully planned and supported physical activity that has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients, enhancing quality of life and limiting the impact of cancer, such as by improving strength and reducing fatigue. One of our physiotherapists specialising in exercise for people living with cancer will provide a 12-week programme tailored to your needs and supported by our dedicated GenesisCare Exercise Medicine app. They’ll work closely with you to monitor changes in your health and support you throughout the programme to help you get the best results. This is available at selected GenesisCare centres. 

Wellbeing

We also offer a wellbeing expert and holistic therapies such as counselling, acupuncture, massage and reflexology through our unique partnership with the Penny Brohn UK charity. This service is available to all myeloma patients at any of our 14 UK centres 

Running-Couple-GenesisCare
Chapter 7

Why choose us?

GenesisCare is a leading private provider of cancer care, offering the latest innovations and techniques that are proven to be safe and effective. If you choose us for myeloma treatment, you'll be under the care of a team of experts, including consultant oncologists, surgeons and haematologists. They'll design a personalised care plan based around your diagnosis and preferences, with treatment starting within days if needed. Every patient is also supported through their journey with life-changing therapies, such as exercise medicine and psychological support.

Our dedicated cancer centres are convenient and easy-to-access. You can use your private medical insurance, and were recognised by all leading insurers. 

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, our priority is to continue providing the very best cancer care. We have meticulous measures in place to ensure our patients receive the treatments they need safely and without delay. You can find out more about our COVID-19 safety measures here. 

We are proud that so many patients rate our care as excellent as we help them through their cancer journey. Find out more about the unique experiences of people who have had their cancer diagnosis or treatment at GenesisCare in our patient stories section.