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Complications of Multiple Myeloma Therapy, Part 2: Risk Reduction and Management of Venous Thromboembolism, Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, Renal Complications, and Anemia

Ruben Niesvizky and Ashraf Z. Badros

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), osteonecrosis of the jaw, renal failure, and anemia are all common complications of multiple myeloma therapy. Many of these adverse events have been documented only in the past 5 to 10 years, in conjunction with the introduction of a series of the newer therapies thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide. This article discusses these complications in detail and provides strategies for health care providers to best prevent, identify, and manage them. Preventive measures, such as VTE prophylaxis and appropriate dental hygiene, as well as patient education, dose adjustments, limited duration of drug treatment, and consideration of therapies that are associated with less burdensome adverse-event profiles, can contribute to substantially improved outcomes and quality of life.