High Symptom Burden One-Month Post-AHCT for Newly Diagnosed MM

A study published in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, & Leukemia evaluated symptom burden in the first year following autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM).

“Understanding the symptom burden associated with AHCT may be an important consideration for newly diagnosed MM patients when selecting treatment options,” wrote the study authors.

The investigators conducted a population-based study of patients treated for newly diagnosed MM in Ontario, Canada, between 2007 and 2018. In total, 1,969 patients were enrolled. Symptom burden was assessed via the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) score, collected each month in the first year following AHCT.

Overall, 12,820 unique symptoms assessments were captured via ESAS scores during one year. One-month post-transplant was associated with the highest symptom burden, and the most common moderate to severe symptoms reported in this time were tiredness and impaired well-being. Symptoms substantially improved by three months after transplant.

Factors associated with increased risk of moderate to severe symptoms were female sex, comorbidities, earlier year of diagnosis, and myeloma-related organ damage, particularly bone and kidney disease.

In conclusion, the authors wrote, “In this large population-based study using patient reported outcomes, there was a substantial burden of symptoms noted among newly diagnosed MM patients one-month post-ASCT, which improved over time. Tailored supportive care interventions should focus on strategies to optimize management of identified symptoms.”