Since patients may survive for many years post-diagnosis, clinicians have attempted to devise therapeutic approaches in myeloma that would relieve disabling symptoms, in particular severe bone pain, thereby improving quality of life. New therapies are still needed for myeloma bone disease. New targets have been identified and are being addressed in clinical trials.
Approximately 80% of all patients with myeloma develop bone disease. In addition to bone disease, myeloma patients may develop a condition called hypercalcemia. Both myeloma bone disease and hypercalcemia can be treated with a group of drugs called bisphosphonates.