A Popular Treatment For Multiple Myeloma May Have Deadly Side Effects

According to an article from deccanchronicle.com, a common treatment for cancer, called carfilzomib, may increase the risk of hypertension, heart failure, and heart attacks in patients with multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that attacks plasma cells. The cause of the cancer is not fully understood, but obesity, alcohol consumption, exposure to certain chemicals, and a family history of the disease may increase the risk. Since many of the body systems can be affected by multiple myeloma, the symptoms can vary substantially. Bone pain is the most common symptom; others include infection, kidney failure, and anemia. Neurological problems may also develop as well. The cancer is challenging to treat, and the five year survival rate is quite low, around 35%. To learn more about this cancer type, click here.

Carfilzomib has begun to take on an increasingly critical role in treating multiple myeloma. However, the study suggests that high doses of the treatment increase the risk of heart problems, which can be fatal. According to the study over 18% of patients who took the treatment experienced cardiovascular complications, with high blood pressure being the most common. However, about 8% percent of the events were considered severe. About 4% of cases were heart failure.
While the increased risk on its own is worrying, and should be a factor taken into consideration when treatment begins, the findings are even more significant because heart disease and multiple myeloma share several important risk factors, such as obesity and old age for example. The study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. The team assessed data collected from twenty-four studies ranging from 2007 to 2017. The data from 2,594 patients with cancer was used in the research. The researchers say that these kinds of studies are important because the same cancer treatment may be more safe for treating one form of cancer than another, and there is always a concern that cancer treatments can cause harm to otherwise healthy areas of the body.

Carfilzomib is just one of several different treatments that are available to patients who are dealing with an advanced stage of the disease, so in patients where the risk of heart problems seems exceptionally pronounced, doctors should probably look to the alternatives.

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