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Get the facts

Learn about multiple myeloma, which is a type of blood cancer. Being informed about multiple myeloma can help you take an active role in your treatment decisions.1

What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma* is a type of cancer that starts in blood cells. There are 3 main types of blood cells in the body1:

  • White blood cells, which help your body fight infection
  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body
  • Platelets, which help your blood to clot when you bleed

Most blood cells are made in the bone marrow. When germs attack your body, some of your white blood cells change into plasma cells. Usually, plasma cells in the bone marrow help fight infection and keep your bones healthy. But with multiple myeloma, plasma cells turn into myeloma cells.1,2

Normal bone marrow and myeloma cells. When there are too many myeloma cells, there’s not enough room in the bone marrow for healthy blood cells
Normal plasma cells1 Myeloma cells1

Soon, there are too many myeloma cells, so there’s not enough room in the bone marrow for healthy blood cells.2

This can2:

  • Prevent healthy plasma cells from working the way they should
  • Make the bones weaker
  • Spread and make tumors in bones

Myeloma cells also make monoclonal proteins, or M-proteins. Your doctor will monitor your M-protein level, because measuring the amount of M-protein in your blood is one way your doctor knows how you are doing with treatment.1,3

When your M-protein numbers go up, your multiple myeloma may be getting worse.1,3

What is relapsed multiple myeloma?

Relapsed means your multiple myeloma has come back. When you have relapsed multiple myeloma, your M-protein numbers may go up. You may have some of the same symptoms you had when you first found out you had multiple myeloma.4

If your multiple myeloma does not respond to certain treatments, that could mean you have refractory multiple myeloma.5

If your multiple myeloma returns or does not respond to treatment, your doctor may discuss changing your treatment plan.5

When your multiple myeloma relapses or is refractory, it can cause damage to your bones and kidneys.6 Discuss treatment options with your doctor and find out how to make the most of your visits.

Treatment options for multiple myeloma1

Your doctor may discuss treatment options with you. According to the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, there are many kinds of treatments for multiple myeloma. Here are some of them:

  • Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to kill cancer cells. Some chemotherapy medicines are given orally (by mouth). Others are given intravenously (through an IV) as an infusion directly into your blood.
  • Steroids are medicines that are usually used to treat swelling. They are also used to treat multiple myeloma.
  • Stem cell transplants use chemotherapy to kill myeloma cells and normal cells in the bone marrow. Then those cells are replaced with healthy blood cells called blood stem cells. The healthy blood stem cells make new bone marrow.
  • Radiation therapy is a type of therapy that treats cancer cells in one small, specific area of the body. It uses high-energy rays to either kill cancer cells or stop new ones from being made.
  • Targeted therapy uses medicines that are designed to kill only a specific type of cancer cell.
  • Immunomodulators are medicines that use the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The immune system protects the body from disease and illness.

Talk with your doctor about the treatment option that may be best for you. Click here to learn about a type of therapy.

*Terms in burgundy can be found in the Glossary.

References

1. Referenced with permission NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Multiple Myeloma V.1.2016. ©National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2016. All rights reserved. Accessed May 2, 2016. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2. Multiple Myeloma Disease Overview. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2016. 3. Multiple Myeloma Treatment Overview. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2016. 4. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Relapse. Accessed April 28, 2016. 5. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Refractory Cancer. Accessed April 28, 2016. 6. Multiple Myeloma. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION AND APPROVED USES

KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) can cause serious side effects:
  • Heart problems: KYPROLIS can cause heart problems or worsen pre-existing heart conditions. Death due to cardiac arrest has occurred within one day of KYPROLIS administration. Before starting KYPROLIS, you should have a full medical work-up (including blood pressure and fluid management). You should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • Kidney problems: There have been reports of sudden kidney failure in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Your kidney function should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS): Cases of TLS have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS, including fatalities. You should be closely monitored during treatment for any signs of TLS.
  • Lung damage: Cases of lung damage have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS, including fatal cases.
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs): There have been reports of pulmonary hypertension in patients receiving KYPROLIS.
  • Lung complications: Shortness of breath was reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Your lung function should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • High blood pressure: Cases of high blood pressure, including fatal cases, have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Your blood pressure should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • Blood clots: There have been reports of blood clots in patients receiving KYPROLIS. If you are at high risk for blood clots, your doctor can recommend ways to lower the risk.
  • If you are using KYPROLIS in combination with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone, your doctor should assess and may prescribe another medicine to help lower your risk for blood clots.
  • If you are using birth control pills or other medical forms of birth control associated with a risk of blood clots, talk to your doctor and consider a different method of birth control during treatment with KYPROLIS in combination with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone.
  • Infusion reactions: Symptoms of infusion reactions included fever, chills, joint pain, muscle pain, facial flushing and/or swelling, vomiting, weakness, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, fainting, chest tightness, and chest pain. These symptoms can occur immediately following infusion or up to 24 hours after administration of KYPROLIS. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Severe bleeding problems: Fatal or serious cases of bleeding problems have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Your doctor should monitor your signs and symptoms of blood loss.
  • Very low platelet count: Low platelet levels can cause unusual bruising and bleeding. You should have regular blood tests to check your platelet count during treatment.
  • Liver problems: Cases of liver failure, including fatal cases, have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Your liver function should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • Blood problems: Cases of a blood disease called thrombotic microangiopathy, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS), including fatal cases, have been reported in patients who received KYPROLIS. Your doctor should monitor your signs and symptoms.
  • Brain problems: A nerve disease called Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES), formerly called Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS), has been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. It can cause seizure, headache, lack of energy, confusion, blindness, altered consciousness, and other visual and nerve disturbances, along with high blood pressure. Your doctor should monitor your signs and symptoms.
  • KYPROLIS should not be combined with melphalan and prednisone: Newly diagnosed transplant ineligible multiple myeloma patients have shown an increased risk of serious and fatal side effects when using KYPROLIS in combination with melphalan and prednisone.
  • Possible fetal harm: KYPROLIS can cause harm to a fetus (unborn baby) when given to a pregnant woman. Women should avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with KYPROLIS. Men should avoid fathering a child during treatment with KYPROLIS. KYPROLIS can cause harm to a fetus if used during pregnancy or if you or your partner become pregnant during treatment with KYPROLIS.
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Prolonged, unusual or excessive bleeding
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
  • Headaches, confusion, seizures, or loss of sight
  • Pregnancy (women should not receive KYPROLIS if they are pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Any other side effect that bothers you or does not go away
What are the possible side effects of KYPROLIS?
  • The most common side effects occurring in at least 20% of patients receiving KYPROLIS in the combination therapy trials are: low red blood cell count, low white blood cell count, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tiredness (fatigue), low platelets, fever, sleeplessness (insomnia), muscle spasm, cough, upper airway (respiratory tract) infection, and decreased potassium levels.
  • The most common side effects occurring in at least 20% of patients receiving KYPROLIS when used alone (monotherapy) in trials are: low red blood cell count, tiredness (fatigue), low platelets, nausea, fever, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, headache, cough, swelling of the lower legs or hands.

These are not all the possible side effects of KYPROLIS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please talk to your doctor and see the full Product Information for additional information.

APPROVED USES

  • KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) is a prescription medication used to treat patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one to three previous treatments for multiple myeloma. KYPROLIS is approved for use in combination with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone, which are other medicines used to treat multiple myeloma.
  • KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) is a prescription medication used to treat patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one or more previous treatments for multiple myeloma. KYPROLIS is approved for use alone to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.