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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-105

A review of epidemiology and management of multiple myeloma in a resource poor country

Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Akinsegun A Akinbami
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, PMB 21266, Ikeja, Lagos State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_8_18

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Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell malignancy characterized by clonal proliferation of terminally differentiated B lymphocytes. Rational use of proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulators, anti CD38 or CD 138, and tandem autologous stem cell transplant have improved 5-year overall survival beyond 50% in advanced countries. However, the disease prevalence is probably highest in Sub-Saharan Africa where diagnostic and treatment facilities are lacking. The authors have reviewed published articles on epidemiology and outcomes of MM in Nigeria in the light of international recommendations with the aim of suggesting adaptable practices in a resource-poor environment. Publications from Nigeria were obtained from search engines such as Google Scholar and PubMed while recent guidelines were obtained from websites of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Medscape Oncology. The mean age at presentation ranged between 54 and 62 years, and there was a higher prevalence among males (ratio 1.1: 1–4.4: 1). A study in Nigeria found an increased incidence in oil-producing areas. In earlier publications between 2005 and 2007 years, about a quarter of patients could not afford treatment and most of the patients presented in advanced stages of the disease. During that period, the mean survival was 7 months and only 13.3% lived beyond 2 years. The treatment then was based on either melphalan ± prednisolone or combination of vincristine, adriamycin, and dexamethasone. By 2012/14, thalidomide, bortezomib, biphosphonates, radiotherapy, and renal dialysis were introduced with a mean survival of 4 years. Optimization of available facilities would, therefore, improve the disease-free survival.

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