A retrospective cohort study identified real-world epidemiology, treatment patterns, and survival outcomes in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) in Israel. The findings were reported in Leukemia Research.

The study was conducted using databases from Maccabi Healthcare Services, a nationwide health plan in Israel that accounts for a quarter of the country’s population. The prevalence of MM was determined by assessing the number of health plan members with MM who were alive at the end of the study period, which was December 31, 2016. The incidence of MM was determined via the number of health plan members who received a new diagnosis of MM between 2012 and 2016.

On December 31, 2016, a total of 663 health plan members were found to have MM, which translated to a prevalence rate of 3.2 cases per 10,0000 people. The age-standardized prevalence rate was 2.6 cases per 10,0000 people.

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Between 2012 and 2016, a total of 531 health plan members were identified to have newly diagnosed MM, which translated to an average of 106 new cases annually and an incidence rate of 5.1 cases per 10,0000 people. The age-standardized incidence rate was 4.6 cases per 10,0000 people.

Treatment patterns were also assessed, revealing that most patients (91.5%) received treatment within their first year of diagnosis and most (76.3%) received bortezomib alone or a bortezomib-containing regimen as first-line treatment. Within 1 year of starting treatment, 38.2% of patients moved to second-line treatment, and within 2 years of starting treatment, about half (51.4%) moved to second-line treatment.

The median overall survival (OS) was 5.2 years (95% CI, 4.3 – 6.1 years) for the population overall and 6.5 years (95% CI, 4.9 – 8.1 years) for cases who received bortizomib in the first-line setting. A multivariate analysis showed that first-line treatment regimen was not significantly associated with OS.

According to a multivariate analysis, OS did significantly improve over time, with cases living longer if they started first-line treatment between 2012 and 2015 compared with between 2009 and 2011.

“The results of this real-world analysis in a large heterogeneous population demonstrate MM incidence and survival rates that are in line with the literature, together with a significant improvement in overall survival over time,” the study authors wrote.

Disclosure: The study was funded by Janssen Israel, J-C Health Care Ltd, which was involved in the study design and writing of the journal article.


  1. Weil C, Gelerstein S, Sharman Moser S, et al. Real-world epidemiology, treatment patterns and survival of multiple myeloma patients in a large nationwide health plan [August 23, 2019]. Leuk Res. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2019.106219