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Healthy plasma cells play an important role in your immune system by making antibodies that fight infection. But what happens if these cells go rogue?

When plasma cells grow abnormally, they can also make abnormal antibodies. This can cause you to have all kinds of health problems — including a rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma. This cancer can cause bone tumors and problems with your kidneys, heart, lungs and blood cells.

Getting a cancer diagnosis can be stressful. But you don’t have to face it alone. The skilled healthcare providers at Cleveland Clinic are here to support you through it all. We work with you to design personalized treatment plans that help manage your multiple myeloma and focus on your well-being — throughout your diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Multiple Myeloma Care?

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Trusted experts:

Cleveland Clinic is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. That means our providers meet and exceed high standards for cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Meet our team.

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Research and innovation:

At Cleveland Clinic, you’ll have access to advanced treatments for multiple myeloma like FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies. Our experts also lead and take part in clinical trials of new therapies. Our dedicated multiple myeloma radiation oncologists specialize in eliminating cancer while preserving healthy tissue and reducing pain.

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Collaborative care:

We don’t rely on just one expert at Cleveland Clinic. Your care team will include providers from many different specialties, all adding their unique expertise to your personalized treatment plan.

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Caring approach:

Hearing you have cancer is never easy. Our specialists are not only experts in treating multiple myeloma; they do so with a caring heart — throughout diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

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Virtual visits:

We know that cancer treatment can take a lot out of you. And some days, you might not feel up to an in-person appointment. A virtual visit can be a great option. You can meet with your providers online from the comfort of home using a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma at Cleveland Clinic

If you have multiple myeloma, you might not have any symptoms (known as smoldering multiple myeloma). Your healthcare provider may find that you have the condition when tests show elevated protein levels in your blood or urine (pee).

If you do have symptoms, you may have frequent bruises, bone pain or fractures, and numbness in your arms and legs. Or you might always be tired or feel confused and foggy. And you might get more infections than usual.

Diagnosing multiple myeloma and understanding how it affects your body is a critical first step toward getting control of this chronic (lifelong) disease and helping you feel better. We can’t make multiple myeloma go away for good, but we can slow its progress or even stop your symptoms for a period of time after treatment (remission).

Tests for multiple myeloma

Your care team will give you several tests to get a better idea of how your cancer is growing and if it’s spread (metastasized) in your body. You might have:

  • Blood tests for cancers to check your blood cells for anything that doesn’t look right or signs of tumors (markers) in your body.
  • Urine protein tests to see how well your kidneys are working.
  • CT (computed tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), PET (positron emission tomography) scan or X-rays to take a closer look at what’s going on inside your body. These tests can show tumors and other problems with your bones and surrounding tissues.
  • Fine needle aspiration (or FNA, a type of bone marrow biopsy) to confirm a multiple myeloma diagnosis, see if the cancer has spread and determine what stage it is. Your provider will take a tissue sample from your bone marrow (spongy center of your bones) to check for signs of cancer.

Second opinions for multiple myeloma

Learning that you may have cancer can be emotional. And you probably have a million questions and concerns. Knowing you have an expert team of healthcare providers you trust to give you the best possible care can help you feel more confident going forward with treatment.  That’s why at Cleveland Clinic, we encourage second opinions. And we always try our very best to get you in to see us as soon as possible after you reach out to us.

Meet Our Multiple Myeloma Team

Meet Our Multiple Myeloma Team­ Our team of expert providers, including board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists, as well as your dedicated Care Team, will dive in and work together to help you through the process of finding the best personalized treatment plan for you.­ This team could include:


We work as one team — providing expert care at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be able to see a provider close to home or you may need to come to our main campus for more complex care.

Treating Multiple Myeloma at Cleveland Clinic

Once we’ve had time to look at your test results, we’ll go over them with you and talk with you about your treatment options.

No cancer diagnosis is exactly the same, and neither are our treatment plans. Your personalized plan will depend on your overall health, age, test results, cancer stage and more. And it could include a combination of several treatments.

Systemic therapy

We typically begin treatment using a combination of systemic therapies to quickly kill myeloma cells throughout your body. Systemic therapies for multiple myeloma include:

CAR T-cell therapy

At Cleveland Clinic, you’ll have access to FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies. Our providers create these personalized treatments by removing T-cells (white blood cells from your immune system) from your blood. They’ll add a special receptor (chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR) to the cells and grow these altered cells in a laboratory to make them cancer-fighting machines.

When the new immune cells are ready, you’ll have chemotherapy to prepare your body to accept them. The cells are then returned to you through an IV (in a vein in your arm) infusion. These altered immune cells help destroy cancerous myeloma cells in your body.

Stem cell transplant

Depending on the stage of your cancer, your providers might talk with you about whether a stem cell transplant could be an effective treatment for you. We treat multiple myeloma with autologous stem cell transplant. Stem cells in your blood and bone marrow help make healthy plasma cells.

During this treatment, we’ll remove healthy stem cells from your blood or bone marrow. Then we’ll give you high-dose chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells in your body. After that, we’ll return the stem cells we removed using an intravenous (IV) infusion with a needle and a tube.

If you need to get healthy stem cells from a donor instead, you’ll have an allogenic stem cell transplant.

Radiation therapy

When multiple myeloma damages your bones or causes pain, your providers can treat your damaged bones with radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-intensity X-rays to kill cancer cells and reduce the size of your bone tumors.

Taking the Next Step

A blood cancer diagnosis like multiple myeloma can change your life in a split second. And maybe even stop you in your tracks for a moment. But once you pause, take a breath and get ready to move forward, know that Cleveland Clinic healthcare providers are here for you.

We’ll work with you to design a personalized treatment plan that keeps you at the center of your care and gives you the compassionate support you need.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s multiple myeloma experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s multiple myeloma experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Learning you have cancer can be stressful, shocking and challenging. From the moment you get the news, you're a survivor. As you face the challenges that go along with cancer treatment and recovery — physical and emotional — we’ll be right there with you.

At Cleveland Clinic, survivorship care is one part of your journey. We offer a wide range of services, resources, clinics and support groups to help with any physical, emotional, financial and spiritual needs you might have related to your cancer diagnosis. Lending a helping hand along the way, we want you to not only survive, but thrive on this journey and beyond.

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