Patient preferences for multiple myeloma treatment


Both new treatments being developed and existing treatment options available to multiple myeloma patients are associated with uncertainties. There are many unanswered questions, especially regarding the long-term efficacy and side effects of these treatments. But we don’t yet know which of the unanswered questions are most important to patients. PREFER researchers have found out what patients think matters most. They share their findings in a recent Frontiers in Medicine publication.

Preparation is key to extract valuable information from patient preference studies to inform decision-making in drug development, regulatory benefit-risk assessment, and reimbursement of medicinal products. And preparing is what the authors of a recent PREFER publication set out to do. From collecting input from multiple myeloma patients, they have identified what treatment attributes should be included in their forthcoming preference study.

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that develops in blood plasma cells. From their findings, the authors conclude that life extension is not the only thing patients want from their treatment. Drug development needs to also focus on addressing the symptoms and side-effects that impact multiple myeloma patients’ quality of life. For example, mitigating risks of organ damage, bone fractures, and neuropathic effects like chronic tingling.

The PREFER study shows that multiple myeloma patients care deeply about their independence and mobility. They want to retain the ability to conduct their daily activities in a way that is as close to normal as possible. And they fear that short-term positive treatment responses might be complicated by permanent and severe side-effects and symptoms. The authors call for transparent communication with patients. To let them know about the long-term efficacy and safety of multiple myeloma treatments.

“We hope that this study can help stakeholders understand which quality-of-life-related outcomes matter most to these patients. And should be included systematically in the development and evaluation of multiple myeloma treatments,” says Rosanne Janssens, one of the authors.

The PREFER case study about multiple myeloma will increase the understanding of what matters most important to patients, and for that reason could be considered in drug development and evaluation. But the paper also outlines the use of a qualitative methodology to assess what treatment aspects matter most to multiple myeloma patients across Europe. And highlights the importance of incorporating a qualitative portion into any patient preference study, to ensure sensitive and appropriate attribute selection that corresponds to the needs of patients and stakeholders.

Explore PREFER publications

Janssens R, Lang T, Vallejo A, Galinsky J, Patient Preferences for Multiple Myeloma Treatments: A Multinational Qualitative Study, Frontiers in Medicine, 6 July 2021

By Anna Holm

Last modified: 2021-11-10