Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematologic malignancy of the plasma cell that causes symptoms of bone pain, renal failure, and anemia. It is usually preceded by a precursor disease state, such as smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and traditional dogma dictates that treatment should be initiated on frank MM symptom development. Emerging evidence suggests that a defined group of "high-risk SMM" may benefit from early treatment, before organ damage and symptoms actually occur. The following article frames the evidence for treatment of high-risk SMM by defining risk categories, reviewing existing therapeutic trial data, and exploring the long-term biologic implications of early treatment.
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