Treating relapsed or resistant multiple myeloma

Woman taking a pill
  • Relapsed multiple myeloma: The disease comes back after treatment.
  • Resistant multiple myeloma: The multiple myeloma does not respond to treatment. This can also be called refractory multiple myeloma. 
  • Remission: Remission means that the symptoms of multiple myeloma disappear and the bone marrow recovers. Remissions can last from months to years. But it is rare for remissions to be permanent. You may find that you experience several remissions and relapses. The first remission is usually the one that lasts the longest. Generally the length remission grows shorter each time.


Even if multiple myeloma comes back after treatment or isn’t responding to a particular treatment, your doctor will look at other drugs and ways to treat the disease. The aim of treatment is to get the disease back into remission?

If you relapse, your treatment may have to be changed a number of times. This will depend on your age, your general health, your previous response to treatment and your lifestyle. You may be treated with the same drugs as before if you have had a long remission - longer than 1 year. 

There are several drug combinations that can be used. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you and pick the one most suitable for your condition. 

In most cases you will have steroids as part of your treatment. 

There are also many new drugs for multiple myeloma being tested in clinical trials.

For more information

Icon: Phone


1800 200 700

Icon: Email