Renal failure (RF) occurs in approximately 20-30% of multiple myeloma (MM) patients at diagnosis and in more than 50% of patients with advanced disease. The pathogenesis of RF is related to the production of monoclonal light chains that can damage either the tubule (myeloma kidney) or the glomeruli (light chain deposition disease or amyloid light-chain amyloidosis). In the past, the prognosis of patients with MM and RF was considered poor due to the limited number of effective and non-nephrotoxic drugs that were available. At present, novel drugs acting both on MM clone and on bone marrow microenvironment have been introduced into clinical practice; among them, bortezomib-containing regimens have proved to be the most effective. High-dose myeloablative therapy followed by autologous stem cell rescue can also be proposed in younger patients with no other relevant comorbidities.
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