Radiation Therapy for Multiple Myeloma


Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to destroy myeloma cells and to help control pain. You would receive radiation therapy at a hospital or clinic. A large machine aims radiation at the bone or the part of the body where myeloma cells have collected. It is local therapy because it affects cells only in the treated area.

Radiation therapy is the main treatment for people with solitary plasmacytoma, a collection of myeloma cells in one area of bone or tissue. Patients typically receive radiation to the affected area of the body for 4 to 5 weeks.

Radiation is sometimes used in other ways for patients with multiple myeloma:

  • To control tumor growth throughout the body – High doses of radiation, given to a larger area of the body, can be used to control the growth of tumors in bones.
  • To relieve pain – Low doses of radiation therapy can be helpful in relieving pain caused by bone tumors.

This content was last reviewed August 15, 2010 by Dr. Reshma L. Mahtani.
Latest Multiple Myeloma News
Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone prolong survival in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma

December 27, 2013 — NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were unfit for stem cell transplant, a combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone improved progression-free survival better than standard therapy.

Multiple myeloma drug meets goal in late-stage study

December 6, 2013 — ZURICH (Reuters) - An experimental drug from Novartis to treat multiple myeloma met its primary goal in a late-stage study, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday.

Select news items provided by Reuters Health