Relapse in multiple myeloma is more than just a clinical event1

Click here to help to push back against relapse by pledging your support

Multiple myeloma is a devastating and rare blood cancer 1,2

In multiple myeloma, plasma cells in the bone marrow replicate uncontrollably, ultimately to accumulation in the bone marrow leading to a persistent and life-threatening blood cancer.3

Since the early 2000's survival rate has doubled with new innovative therapies.4 Unfortunately, despite this, multiple myeloma remains incurable.4

Treatment goals in multiple myeloma aim to prolong survival while ensuring the best possible quality of life.5

Characterised by periods of relapse and remission, life with multiple myeloma is an emotional rollercoaster for everyone involved1

When someone receives their diagnosis, they are faced with uncertainty and fear, as the unpredictable nature of this incurable disease is stretched before them.1,2,10,11

This fear is most realised when they first relapse.1

Relapse is far more than just a clinical event; it has a serious and emotional impact on patients, carers and healthcare professionals alike.1,12,13



Patient and Doctor Stories of Relapse

Almost all patients with multiple myeloma will relapse, affecting every aspect of their lives1

A patient’s first relapse has a profound and devastating emotional impact, even more so for some than their initial diagnosis.1

  • Constant reminder of their incurable disease
  • Loss of emotional stability
  • Uncertainty and anxiety
  • Pain, fatigue, infection risk
  • House/bed restricted
  • Increased hospital visits
  • Don’t want to be a burden on friends
  • Reduced time with friends
  • Required to provide physical support
  • Family are reminded of the incurable nature of the disease

Adapted from Hulin C et al. 2017.

Proportion of people reaching
each line of therapy14


With each relapse, a patient’s overall health deteriorates and fewer people survive to receive their next line of treatment14,15

After each relapse, patients progressively become less responsive to therapies and experience shorter periods of remission.11

Pie Chart


Of people with multiple myeloma will receive a second-line of treatment.14

Patient Stories

In June 2017, Dr Hulin and colleagues published in Leukemia Research results from a real-world study of face-to-face interviews from people across five countries with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Built upon the foundation of the Hulin data, real-life views and experiences of people multiple myeloma were captured, providing valuable insights into the reality of living with this condition.

Relapse doesn’t just affect the person with myeloma, but their friends and family as well1, 13

Two people holding hands


Of partners feel that they have an unmet need when it comes to caring for someone with multiple myeloma13

Many patients feel guilty about the added emotional and physical burden on their loved ones.1

  • Car parking
  • Time out of work
  • Obtaining life/travel insurance
  • Helping to manage side effects
  • Fear for the future
  • Lack of emotional support

Adapted from Molassiotis A et al. 2011.

The physician experience of relapse

In June 2017, Dr Hulin and colleagues published in Leukemia Research results from a real-world study of face-to-face interviews from people across five countries with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The data demonstrated that relapse has a devastating impact on the lives of people with multiple myeloma, an effect that extends to their loved ones, carers and physicians alike.

Watch the video below to hear Dr Hulin talk on the impact of relapse from both patient and physician's perspective.

Contact Us

For all media enquiries, please contact DNA Communications

Email: RethinkRelapse@dna-comms.com

For all other enquiries please contact Celgene directly

Email: miva@celgene.com

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