Researchers Assess Trends in Myeloma Incidence and Mortality

A research team from the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed recent trends in incidence and mortality rates of multiple myeloma (MM) and other plasma cell disorders.

The investigators utilized the United States Cancer Statistics database, which collects data from the entire U.S. population, to assess incidence and death rates between 2003 and 2016 for MM, solitary plasmacytoma, and extramedullary plasmacytoma. Analysis of factors such as race and ethnicity, gender, age, and socioeconomic status was conducted to evaluate trends.

During the study period, the overall incidence rates were 8.47 cases of MM, 0.45 cases of solitary plasmacytoma, and 0.09 cases of extramedullary plasmacytoma per 100,000 people. Overall death rates for these plasma disorders during this time was 4.77 per 100,000 people.

Incidence of MM was higher among men than women (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.49‐1.52). Mortality rates were also significantly higher for men compared with women (5.97 vs. 3.86, respectively). Age-specific incidence rates were highest among individuals aged older than 80 years, with 38.32 cases per 100,000 people.

Black individuals had the highest MM incidence rate, with 17.43 cases per 100,000 people (IRR compared with non-Hispanic whites, 1.59), as well as highest mortality (9.12 deaths per 100,000 people; rate ratio compared with non-Hispanic whites, 2.05). Non-Hispanic white individuals had a higher mortality (mortality rate, 4.44) compared with individuals of non-Hispanic Native American, Asia/Pacific Island, or Hispanic descent.

Overall, rates of MM incidence in men increased an average of 0.81% per year, with a statistically significant average annual percentage change (AAPC) of 0.92% for white men and 2.19% for Native American men. No significant changes in incidence were noted in women across all racial/ethnic groups.

Average MM mortality decreased for both men and women during the study period (AAPC, –0.77% and –1.38%, respectively). Significant decreases were noted among Native American men (AAPC, –3.05%), white men (–0.74%), and Black men (–0.99%). White and Hispanic women also achieved decreases in mortality (–1.23% and –1.34%, respectively).

“The U.S. population is projected to become older and more racially and ethnically diverse,” the researchers concluded. “These population changes may impact future trends in incidence…and mortality attributed to myeloma. High‐quality cancer surveillance data allow for routine monitoring of cancer incidence and mortality.”

This study was published in Cancer Medicine.