Evangelos Terpos, MD, PhD; Professor of Hematology,
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece
COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the clinical care of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. The International Myeloma Society has studied the natural history of COVID-19 in MM patients since the start of the pandemic. Chari and colleagues published in Blood at the end of 2020 a retrospective IMS study that described the baseline characteristics and outcome of COVID-19 infection in 650 hospitalized patients with plasma cell disorders (96% of them had myeloma) [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33367546/]. Approximately 36% of patients were diagnosed during 2019 and 2020, and 54% of patients were receiving first-line therapy. Thirty-three percent of patients have died, with significant geographic variability, ranging from 27% to 57% of hospitalized patients. The multivariate analysis found that age, high-risk MM, renal disease, and suboptimal MM control remained independent predictors of adverse outcome with COVID-19 infection.
The increased in-patient mortality of MM patients with COVID-19 was also confirmed in a study of the Spanish Myeloma Study Group, which was published in Blood Cancer Journal [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33077708/]. Martinez-Lopez and colleagues reported that among 167 MM patients, inpatient mortality was 41% in males, 42% in patients aged >65 years, 49% in patients with active/progressive MM at hospitalization, and 59% in patients with comorbid renal disease at hospitalization, which were independent prognostic factors on adjusted multivariate analysis.
The International Myeloma Society is a professional, scientific, and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of myeloma. The purpose of this society is to promote research, education, clinical studies (including diagnosis and treatment), workshops, conferences, and symposia on all aspects of multiple myeloma worldwide. The IMS is a membership organization comprised of basic research scientists, and clinical investigators in the field along with physicians and other healthcare practitioners.