The characteristics, treatment patterns, and outcomes of older adults aged 80 and over with multiple myeloma

Mark A. Fiala, Nicole C. Foley, Sonja Zweegman, Ravi Vij, Tanya M. Wildes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Tremendous progress has been made in the treatment of multiple myeloma; however, the majority of this success has been demonstrated in younger patients. With 36% of patients >80 years-old at diagnosis, it is important to understand if older patients are receiving similar benefits. Materials and methods: We identified 2155 patients diagnosed with myeloma at age 80 or older in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)-Medicare database from 2007 to 2013. A cohort of 2933 similar patients diagnosed with myeloma at age 70–79 was used for comparison using a difference-in-differences design. Results: Only 51% of patients >80 years-old at diagnosis received systemic anti-myeloma treatment. Treatment was associated with a 26% decrease in hazard for death, independent of age, race, gender, poverty, comorbidities, and proxy measures of performance status. In the 70–79 cohort, treatment was associated with a 22% decrease in hazard for death. Based on the difference-in-differences design, there is no statistically significant difference in treatment benefit based on age cohort (p = .610). Conclusions: Anti-myeloma treatment produces a similar survival benefit among the oldest patients. The population over 80, when myeloma incidence peaks, is projected to triple over the next few decades. It is imperative that we continue to advance our understanding of the needs of this vulnerable subgroup of patients with myeloma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1278
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of geriatric oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Multiple myeloma
  • Novel agents
  • Older patients

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