Winning the Battle Against Multiple Myeloma
Myeloma is a type of cancer in which plasma cells—a type of white blood cell—grow out of control. Most people with myeloma have myeloma tumors in several places in their body. That’s why this disease is often called “multiple myeloma.” Because every myeloma is unique, SCCA specialists target treatment to each patient’s unique situation.
Statistics Are Abstract; Lives Aren’t
If you have myeloma, where you choose to go for initial treatment has a significant impact on the likelihood of survival. Myeloma patients at SCCA have access to advanced therapies and treatments being explored in some 25 ongoing clinical trials for multiple myeloma conducted at SCCA’s founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine. For people with myeloma who are good candidates for stem cell transplants, the Fred Hutchinson Transplant program at SCCA is the most experienced transplant center in the world. As you can see below, patients treated for myeloma at SCCA have high five-year survival rates.
Multiple Myeloma Survival Rates
The chart above shows the five-year survival rates for multiple myeloma patients treated by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance compared to patients who were treated for myeloma elsewhere. This information was collected by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients diagnosed between 2003 and 2004 and followed for five years.
- SCCA patients are represented by the red line. Their five-year survival rate was 68 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA.
- Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the blue line. Their combined five-year survival rate was 37 percent.
The NCDB tracks the outcomes of 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer in the United States from more than 1,500 commission-accredited cancer programs. It has been collecting data from hospital cancer registries since 1989 and now has almost 26 million records.