Effects of Radiotherapy in the treatment of multiple myeloma: A retrospective analysis of a Single Institution

Christiane Matuschek, Thomas A. Ochtrop, Edwin Bölke, Ute Ganswindt, Roland Fenk, Stephan Gripp, Patric Kröpil, Peter Arne Gerber, Kai Kammers, Jackson Hamilton, Klaus Orth, Wilfried Budach

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14 Scopus citations


Background: Palliative irradiation of osteolytic lesions is a considerable component in the treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. In this study, we analyzed the efficacy of irradiation in these patients. Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 153 patients with multiple myeloma who were admitted to our department between 1989 and 2013. According to the staging system of Durie & Salmon 116 patients were classified as stage III. 107/153 patients were treated with radiotherapy of at least one and up to 6 bony lesions at different times. In order to evaluate the effect of local radiotherapy on pain relief and bone recalcification a uni- and multivariate analysis was performed using a binary logistic regression model to correct for multiple measurements. Complete information on dose, fractionation and volume of radiotherapy was available from 81 patients treated in 136 target volumes for pain relief, and from 69 patients treated in 108 target volumes for recalcification. Total radiation doses varied between 8 Gy to 50 Gy (median dose 25 Gy in 2.5 Gy fractions, 5 times a week) Results: Radiotherapy resulted in complete local pain relief in 31% and partial local pain relief in 54% of the patients. In the univariate analysis, higher total radiation doses (p = 0.023) and higher age (p = 0.014) at the time of radiotherapy were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of pain relief, whereas no significant association was detected for concurrent systemic treatment, type and stage of myeloma and location of bone lesions. The same variables were independent predictors for pain relief in the multivariate analysis. Recalcification was observed in 48% of irradiated bone lesions. In the uni- and multivariate analysis higher radiation doses were significantly associated (p = 0.048) with an increased likelihood of recalcification. Side effects of radiotherapy were generally mild. Conclusions: Higher total biological radiation doses were associated with better pain relief and recalcification in this retrospective evaluation of multiple myeloma patients. In addition, in the elderly the therapeutic measures appear to develop a better analgesic effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 28 2015


  • Analgesic effect
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Plasmocytoma
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Recalcification
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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