Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that is increasing in incidence with the aging of the population.

The treatment of multiple myeloma is highly personalized at John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. We are one of the few treatment centers in the nation offering a full team of specialized experts in the care of patients with all stages of multiple myeloma. If you have multiple myeloma, we carefully assess the stage and biology of your disease to match you with the best treatment, or to customize a surveillance program for you if you do not yet need therapy. When you come to us for your care, you’ll see the same physician at every visit who gets to know you and your family, is available to address your questions and concerns, and provides a personal level of care that can be hard to find elsewhere.

Our Multiple Myeloma Team

We bring together all the multiple myeloma experts you may need—offering dedicated highly specialized providers trained at the world’s best academic medical centers—from hematology/medical oncology, immunology, stem cell transplantation, infectious diseases, pathology, radiation oncology, orthopedics, and nursing to provide you with a tailored plan of care based on the specific features of your disease and your personal condition. Our goal is to treat your myeloma while taking into account all physical, functional, emotional, and quality of life aspects of your disease. We don’t just care for you, but about you. In fact, according to Press-Ganey surveys, 99 percent of our patients report satisfaction with their care.

Personalized Monitoring for “Pre-Myeloma”

Some people have diseases that have the potential to turn into multiple myeloma. These “precursor” disorders include smoldering multiple myeloma and MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance). If you were diagnosed with one of these disorders, you may have been surprised because they don’t cause any symptoms. Our doctors take a conservative approach to treating patients with smoldering multiple myeloma and MGUS. We’ll monitor you and let you know if or when you may benefit from treatment. We also offer clinical trials assessing immunological factors and other predictors of the best time to start treatment.

Carmen Phaneuf

Multiple Myeloma Survivor from Hackensack Meridian Health.

Leaders in the Development of Myeloma Drugs

Our doctors are leaders in myeloma research. Their research efforts have resulted in some of the most promising treatments for myeloma used today, including bortezomib (Velcade), lenalidomide (Revlimid), and carfilzomib (Kyprolis). In addition, our team participated in the development of four myeloma therapies just approved over the last few years: daratumumab (Darzalex), elotuzumab (Empliciti), ixazomib (Ninlaro), and panobinostat (Farydak). What does this mean for you? It means your treatment team is not only knowledgeable about, but involved in the development of the very latest therapies for your disease—and therefore best equipped to provide you with the most advanced solutions.

Customizing Your Care

While two cases of multiple myeloma can look the same under the microscope and may appear to be the same disease, we now know that there are more than five different subsets of myeloma, each with its own biological features and behavior. That’s why we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to myeloma treatment. When you come to John Theurer Cancer Center for multiple myeloma care, we’ll perform a comprehensive molecular analysis of your cancer to determine its subtype, and match you with the most appropriate therapy. This “precision medicine” approach ensures that you receive the therapy that is best suited for the biology of your cancer, offering the greatest chance of success.

Clinical Trials of Promising Therapies

The most innovative treatments for multiple myeloma are under evaluation in clinical trials. Our patients have access to clinical trials for multiple myeloma at all stages of disease. We are conducting novel studies assessing antibody-drug combinations (which bring chemotherapy agents onto cancer cells, sparing normal cells) and immunotherapy—treatments (that bolster the ability of the immune system to find and kill cancer cells).

Our Current Clinical Trials

Dr. David Siegel Discusses Advances in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Hear from the Chief of the Division of Myeloma as he discusses the advancement in treatments for patients with Multiple Myeloma.

Our Multiple Myeloma Specialists

Major Players in International Myeloma Research Groups

John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a unique research model dedicated to accelerating the development of innovative therapies for patients with multiple myeloma. At the core of this unique model is the MMRC Tissue Bank, the only resource that integrates myeloma tissue samples with corresponding genomic and clinical data to rapidly advance research efforts with the potential to improve myeloma care.

Using new genetic technologies, John Theurer Cancer Center researchers joined colleagues from 20 major North American research institutions to publish the first complete genomic portrait of multiple myeloma in the prestigious journal Nature. Building on these promising results, we enrolled patients in a follow-up study designed to uncover the molecular features and subtypes of multiple myeloma. This study will form the centerpiece of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s (MMRF) Personalized Medicine Initiative—CoMMpass—which aims to accelerate the translation of exciting research findings from the laboratory to the clinic, where they can help patients live longer.

Cancer Research

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

John Theurer Cancer Center is one of the few sites around the world offering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for multiple myeloma—a highly promising form of immunotherapy. With this investigational therapy, immune cells called T cells are removed, genetically modified to recognize certain targets on cancer cells, grown to larger quantities, and returned to the patient to find, bind to, and kill myeloma cells. CAR T-cell therapy is an intensive treatment that requires specialized expertise and resources to support the patients who receive it.

Clinical trials of CAR T cells in other blood cancers have shown than even in patients whose cancer came back after multiple treatments, CAR T-cell therapy helped them achieve remissions that lasted for years. Others can live longer without their cancer getting worse, and in some cases can then benefit from curative cancer treatment such as stem cell transplantation. John Theurer Cancer Center physicians are very excited and hopeful about offering CAR T-cell therapy for patients with multiple myeloma.

Specialized Expertise