In recent years, several new drugs have been approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Many of these newer drugs are highly efficacious and less toxic than older chemotherapy drugs. In 2014, the diagnostic criteria for multiple myeloma were revised. The intent with the new criteria was to identify patients who require therapy at an earlier stage than at manifestation of organ complications. A subset of patients who were previously defined as having high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma was redefined as having multiple myeloma. In this context, it is logical to raise questions regarding the optimal clinical management of patients who are diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma in the current era. When is the optimal time to start therapy? Do the clinical trajectories for patients suggest there are distinct sub-entities hidden in the current category of smolderingmultiplemyeloma? How can wemove the field forward from here? This paper reviews and dissects data and models on the topics of clinical features, underlying biology, and early treatment trials in smoldering multiple myeloma. The text highlights assumptions, facts, and gaps in the literature. As indicated in the title of the paper, the recurrent theme of the text is this: Shall we treat smoldering multiple myeloma in the near future?
ASJC Scopus subject areas