Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Pinterest LinkedIn RSS Podcasts Video Library Blog
 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Multiple Myeloma & Other Plasma Cell Cancers

Multiple myeloma is the most common cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell involved in the body’s immune defense system. In multiple myeloma, the excessive growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow interferes with the production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This can cause anemia, susceptibility to infection, and increased tendencies toward bleeding. If the cancer cells grow and expand in the bone marrow, they can also cause destruction of the bone. Plasma cell cancers can also occur outside the bone marrow.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Multiple Myeloma
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for trusted sources of both government-sponsored and privately developed health information.

Cancer.gov: Multiple Myeloma and Other Plasma Cell Cancers
Provides access to authoritative documents from the National Cancer Institute, including information about treatment, supportive care and clinical trials.

American Cancer Society
One of the most well-known nonprofit organizations in the United States, ACS has many resources available to patients, families, and caregivers.

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Contains information about the many services offered by the Lurie Cancer Center, one of thirteen founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).


  • Everything you need to know about cancer in language you can actually understand. Galsky M. 2010.
  • What to eat during cancer treatment: 100 great-tasting, family-friendly recipes to help you cope. Besser J. 2009.
  • Clinical malignant hematology. Sekeres MA et al. 2007
  • 100 Questions & Answers about Myeloma. Bashey A. 2005.
  • Multiple Myeloma: Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. Longe J, ed. 2010. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library.

Journal Articles

  • “Progress in treating multiple myeloma. Thanks to a host of effective new therapies, patients are enjoying years in remission from this malignant blood cancer.” Harvard Womens Health Watch. 17(11):4-6. 2010.
  • “More promising treatment for multiple myeloma. Combinations of drugs may supplant current standards of care in view of new drug data. Duke Medicine Health News. 16(4):7. 2010.
  • “Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma: IMWG consensus perspectives risk factors for progression and guidelines for monitoring and management. Kyle RA et al. Leukemia. 24(67):1121-7. June 2010.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-926-4282.

International Myeloma Foundation
Provides information about multiple myeloma including research and treatment advances, and our research, education, support and advocacy programs.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) provides patient information and support as well as supporting research for treatment of multiple myeloma.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateNovember 1, 2012