Multiple myeloma is a rare haematological malignancy. It is estimated that it constitutes approximately 1-2% of all known neoplasms. Currently, there are over a million people worldwide with the disease and this number will increase because of the continuous ageing of the population. In Poland, each year approximately 2,000 patients are diagnosed de novo. The most important message to the patient is related to the projected life expectancy with myeloma. Currently, the median survival rate is around 7-10 years and a further extension of this period is possible thanks to the introduction of innovative therapies. Recently, several new drugs have been recorded in the world: daratumumab, elotuzumab, ixazomib and panobinostat. Unfortunately, in Poland, these drugs are currently not reimbursed by the National Health Fund. A long life with myeloma is possible through the treatment based on the use of bortezomib, lenalidomide, carfilzomib, pomalidomide and the therapy using bone marrow auto-transplantation. Currently, for many people multiple myeloma can be regarded as a chronic condition, but because of the large variety of this neoplasm, managing the patient requires the medical team to have an individual approach, expertise and current knowledge and extensive experience.
In 2008, “Myeloma Treatment Centre Foundation” was created and registered in Krakow, whose statutory mission is to conduct and support all activities for patients with multiple myeloma. The foundation is a nonprofit organisation and operates in the field of health promotion and care. Each of you can help us in our statutory efforts to otpimise the treatment of patients in Poland, for which we sincerely and cordially thank you in advance.
Due to the nature of the disease, it is advisable that a team of specialists ranging from haematologists through nephrologists, orthopaedists, radiation oncologists, neurologists and psychooncologists, in a modern way deal with the diagnosis and therapy of myeloma. We have a dream of an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to the patient to create a new quality of treatment for this complex cancer. We are all striving to look forward to the day that myeloma becomes a completely curable disease.
Artur Jurczyszyn, MD, PhD
Specialist in haematology and internal diseases
President of the “Myeloma Treatment Foundation Centre”