Novel treatments for multiple myeloma (MM) have shown promising results in clinical trials, but the advantage in unselected patients is still unclear. In order to evaluate whether novel therapies impact survival of MM patients, we performed a population-based analysis on data collected by the Modena Cancer Registry from 1989 to 2009. The analysis evaluated 1206 newly diagnosed MM patients collected in the years 1988–96 (conventional therapy), 1997–05 (high dose melphalan and autologous transplant), and 2006–09 (novel agents era). Both relative survival (RS) and overall survival (OS) improved over the years, but not equally in the three groups. For patients aged <65 years, RS improved in 1997–05 and 2006–09 compared with previous years and a trend to improvement was observed from 1997–05 to 2006–09. For patients aged 65–74 years, RS improved significantly in 2006–09 compared with 1988–96 and 1997–05. No amelioration was observed for patients 75+ years old. OS confirmed RS. In conclusion, the survival of MM patients aged <65 and, in particular, 65–74 years, has improved over time, especially after 2006. This observation provides circumstantial evidence that novel therapies might impact patient survival. Despite the limits of this study, these data refer to an unselected population, giving a picture of every day clinical practice.

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