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Understanding Dexamethasone and Other Steroids

This booklet is devoted to an important component of almost all myeloma therapies. The steroid dexamethasone is a synthetic adrenocortical steroid, also known as glucocorticosteroid or corticosteroid. Dexamethasone is one of the most frequently used medications in the treatment of myeloma. It is also known by the brand names Decadron®, Dexasone®, Diodex®, Hexadrol®, and Maxidex®.

Understanding MGUS and Smoldering Myeloma

This booklet contains information about monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). Neither is an active disease state, but both are precursor states to active myeloma. It is therefore important to understand if, when, and how active myeloma might evolve and what monitoring and/or interventions are appropriate.

Understanding Serum Free Light Chain and Serum Heavy/Light Chain Assays

This booklet is devoted to two tests used in the diagnosis and monitoring of myeloma, the serum free light chain assay (Freelite®) and the serum heavy/light chain assay (Hevylite®). Since Freelite and Hevylite are independent biomark­ers of disease activity, it is important to monitor patients with both tests. 

Understanding Treatment of Myeloma-Induced Vertebral Compression Fractures

As treatment for myeloma improves and patients live longer, it is important to reduce the disability that can result from the painful problem of vertebral compression fractures, which occur when the vertebra collapses or fractures because the bone is too weak to withstand the pressure or stress placed upon it.

Understanding Bisphosphonate Therapy
What you need to know about bone disease and bisphosphonate therapy. What are bisphosphonates? How do they work? Who should take them and who shouldn't? Side effects.
Understanding Fatigue

Myeloma patients may experience fatigue caused by the disease, by treatment, and by the understandable anxiety and/or depression that affects many.  The IMF’s Understanding Fatigue booklet contains a thorough examination of coping strategies and causes of myeloma fatigue, as well as suggestions for discussing fatigue with your doctor. 

Understanding Adherence to Oral Cancer Therapy

Understanding Adherence to Oral Cancer Therapy is intended to help myeloma patients and their healthcare providers work together to overcome any and all obstacles to adherence to safe and effective oral cancer therapy.

Understanding Pomalyst®
(pomalidomide) capsules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pomalyst® (pomalidomide) on February 8, 2013, to treat patients with multiple myeloma whose disease progressed after being treated with other cancer drugs.

Understanding Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are used to further test new medications and therapies on human subjects. Whether or not to participate in a clinical trial is one of the critical decisions you and your oncologist may have to make in the course of your cancer treatment.
Understanding High-Dose Therapy with Stem Cell Rescue

High-dose therapy with stem cell rescue, or "stem cell transplant," is an important treatment option for eligible patients with multiple myeloma. Whether part of a first treatment regimen or relapse, it can provide significant remission and survival benefits.

Understanding Revlimid®
Learn more about Revlimid® (lenalidomide), approved by the FDA for use in myeloma.
Understanding VELCADE® (bortezomib) for Injection
Part of the IMF's Understanding series, this booklet covers the basics, including: What is VELCADE? How does it work? How is VELCADE given? How is it used in clinical practice today? What are the side effects?

Understanding Kyprolis® (carfilzomib) for Injection
This booklet discusses Kyprolis, the results of clinical trials with Kyprolis, how and when it is administered, its possible side effects, and how to manage them.
Understanding Protein Electrophoresis
Production of a single, monoclonal protein (M-protein) is a characteristic feature of multiple myeloma. The test used to measure the amount of monoclonal protein in the blood or urine is protein electrophoresis.

The Myeloma Patient's Guide to Understanding Your Test Results

Myeloma is a complex disease that can have different features in each patient. It is important to understand your disease and to know which tests are best for monitoring your myeloma. No single test or study is adequate to tell the whole story about a patient’s status, but used together, test results give a more complete picture. 

Understanding Thalidomide Therapy
Using thalidomide to treat myeloma is a new idea, but thalidomide itself has been studied for many decades. Much has been learned about how thalidomide works in the treatment of different diseases, and how its side effects can be treated.