Chapter 4 – Treatment of elderly patients with myeloma

Contributors: Eileen M Boyle, Charline Legrand, Hélène Demarquette, Stéphanie Guidez, Charles Herbaux, Xavier Leleu, and Thierry Facon

1 – Introduction

In Europe and North America, the majority of patients diagnosed with cancer are over 65 years of age. This particularly applies to myeloma, a clonal late B-cell disorder, with a median age at diagnosis of 69 years of age [1]. Besides differences in terms of tumor biology, cancer decision-making in the elderly is often complicated by the presence of comorbidities and psychosocial factors [1–3]. We provide a comprehensive review of the epidemiology, biological and clinical features of this disease in elderly patients as well as the diagnostic and treatment strategies that may be implemented in this population.