(HealthDay News) — Though cancer-specific survival has improved in patients with multiple myeloma (MM), these patients still have an increased risk of death from other malignancies and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in BMC Cancer.

Researchers examined trends in survival among MM patients using data from a cancer registry in Germany. In the 14,815 MM patients diagnosed from 2000 to 2019, there were 8654 deaths.

Most deaths (76.8%) were due to MM. However, these MM patients were more likely than the general public to die of cardiovascular disease (standardized mortality ratio [SMR], 2.01); non-myeloma malignancies (SMR, 1.97); diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR, 3.97); infectious diseases (SMR, 3.77); endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases (SMR, 3.04); and gastrointestinal diseases (SMR, 1.72).

Continue Reading

The researchers also estimated age-standardized and age group-specific relative survival in 3336 MM patients. Age-standardized 5-year relative survival increased from 36.7% during 2000–2004 to 62.4% during 2015–2019.

For patients aged 15 to 69 years, 5-year relative survival increased from 40.7% during 2000–2004 to 69.2% during 2015–2019. For patients aged 70 to 79 years, 5-year relative survival increased from 23.4% to 46.8%.

“[C]ancer-specific survival in MM has substantially improved over two decades, following the widespread use of new therapies,” the researchers wrote. “Nevertheless, there is excess mortality compared to the general population throughout the course of the disease. With improving prognosis, clinicians should pay attention to second primary malignancies and cardiovascular risks.”

Abstract/Full Text