The long-term survival of 324 multiple myeloma patients treated with conven
tional chemotherapy (CT) was analysed after at least 10 years follow-up. Th
e unselected group of myeloma patients less than or equal to 70 years, as r
epresentative of the population, was derived from three prospective multice
ntre trials by the Finnish Leukaemia Group.
The median overall survival time (OS) was 49 months, At 10 years, 13% of th
e patients were alive. The significant single pre-treatment prognostic fact
ors for long-term survival were age, Hb, platelet count, serum-creatinine a
nd proportion of plasma cells in the bone marrow Staging according to Hb le
vel and plasma cell degree was more useful than that of the Durie and Salmo
n system in predicting long-term survival, The first-line chemotherapy comb
ination and the level of response were unimportant in this respect. A long
plateau phase after first response and response to salvage chemotherapy wer
e important prognostic factors, Not only the salvage regimen but also the w
hole supportive treatment and adequate control of complications throughout
the course of the disease are important.