Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer which begins in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue present in the bones and when healthy the plasma cells formed in the bone marrow form the antibodies which protect the body from infections. Multiple myeloma is the cancer where the normal plasma cells undergo uncontrollable growth and they form cancer cells which decrease the normal plasma cells forming the antibodies. These cancerous plasma cells form the abnormal antibodies known as the M proteins.
One of the main factor of multiple myeloma is genetic mutations. It is found that in multiple myeloma cells some parts of chromosome number 17 are missing. There are dendritic cells in the bone marrow which secretes a hormone called interleukin-6 and this hormone helps in the growth of plasma cells. If there is overproduction of interleukin-6 then it affects the formation and growth of plasma cells
The Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma are –
- Reduces blood count –in the cancer increased cancerous plasma cells reduce normal blood count. This can lead to anemia which means shortage of the RBCs. Multiple myeloma can also reduce the platelet levels which is known as thrombocytopenia and it can cause bruises and bleeding. Reduced WBCs can cause vulnerability to infections.
- Infections – normal plasma cells form the antibodies which protect the body from infections. But since plasma cells are affected in the multiple myeloma they cannot form normal antibodies and they cannot make the antibodies to protect from the infections.
- Multiple myeloma can also impact the kidney leading to kidney failure.
- The myeloma cells interfere with the bones and can lead to osteoclast that is it can break down the bones.Hence multiple myeloma can lead to fractured bones.
Who are at Risk with Multiple Myeloma?
- The risk of getting it increases with the increasing age and most of the people are diagnosed at the age 65.
- Men are more prone to multiple myeloma than women.
- Multiple myeloma can run in some families.
- Increased weight can lead to an increase chances of multiple myeloma.
Detection of Multiple Myeloma –
- Complete blood count is done to measure the RBCs, WBCs and platelets.
- Blood chemistry tests – to check the levels of creatinine, calcium and albumin to see if the kidneys are functioning well or not.
- Bone marrow biopsy to examine the cells of bone marrow. The cells then undergo Cytogenetics, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry.
- Imaging scans such as – CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans, and echocardiogram.
Drug therapy of Multiple Myeloma –
- Chemotherapy – these cells kill the cancer cells or they can slow down the cell growth of the cancer like multiple myeloma. For example – Doxorubicin and Etoposide.
- Immunomodulatory medicines – they affect the immune system and one such example is Lenalidomide 25mg capsule. Lenalidomide is manufactured by Arechar Healthcare and is also known by the brand name Lidmed. They reduce the formation of cytokines and also induce cell death. The price of this medication is high hence it can be purchased from Magicine Pharma at an affordable price.
- Corticosteroids – these are used in combination with other medicines and they reduce nausea.
- Monoclonal antibodies – these are man-made antibodies which attack the proteins on the specific cells. For example – Daratumumab.
- Proteasome inhibitors – these medicine function by inhibiting the enzymes are needed for the protein breakdown needed for cell division. Example – Bortezomib Injection.
Bortecine is the brand name of this medicine and it is manufactured by Arechar Healthcare. Some of the side effects – constipation, vomiting, bleeding gums, cough, redness of the injection site, chills, fatigue and numbness in the hands and feet.This injection is available at Magicine Pharma for up to 15% off.