Multiple myeloma (MM) is one of the most frequent hematologic malignancies, and its incidence varies worldwide. Except for occasional case series or correlative biological studies, little is known about the incidence and clinical features of MM in Latin America. In Brazil, national estimates for the incidence of MM are currently unavailable. Sixteen Brazilian institutions provided information on patients diagnosed with MM between 1998 and 2004. The investigators included all patients whose charts were available. All patients were undergoing care at these institutions. The diagnosis was based on the new criteria,1 and/or standard clinical, laboratory and radiographical features, as well as on bone marrow findings compatible with MM. Since the majority of patients had Durie-Salmon stage (DSS) III, the diagnosis was not in doubt. Patients data were obtained from institutional charts, and were entered on a web-based system specifically designed for the study under the auspices of the International Myeloma Foundation. We collected information regarding the demographical features of the patient, date of diagnosis, stage according to the DSS2 and ISS,3 type of monoclonal component, results of pertinent laboratory tests, type of treatment administered, and date of last follow-up or death. From 1998 to 2004, the patients who were not candidates for high-dose chemotherapy (i.e., those who presented with poor performance status or for whom high-dose chemotherapy was not available) were treated with melphalan and prednisone.


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