Real-World Utilization of Radiation Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: An Analysis of the Connect MM Registry

Leslie Ballas, Sikander Ailawadhi, Mohit Narang, Cristina J. Gasparetto, Hans C. Lee, James W. Hardin, Brian G.M. Durie, Kathleen Toomey, James Omel, Lynne I. Wagner, Rafat Abonour, Howard R. Terebelo, Prashant Joshi, Edward Yu, Liang Liu, Robert M. Rifkin, Sundar Jagannath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Radiation therapy (RT) is an important treatment modality for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Although patients are living longer with MM, they are more likely to have comorbidities related to treatment, such as bone pain; however, RT can provide symptom relief. To date, the characterization of patients who have received RT in the real-world setting has been limited. Methods and Materials: The Connect® MM Registry is a large, US multicenter, prospective observational cohort study of adult patients with newly diagnosed MM from mostly community sites. RT utilization and outcomes were analyzed quarterly throughout treatment. Factors associated with RT use were identified via multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 3011 patients were enrolled in the Connect MM Registry with 903 patients (30%) having received RT at any time. There was a significant difference (P < .05) in overall RT use among patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1 versus ≥2, International Staging System disease stage I/II versus III, a history of plasmacytoma or a novel agent in their first regimen, and any number of bone lesions or severe osteoporosis/fracture. RT use was associated with having bone lesions or severe osteoporosis (vs not having bone lesions). Additionally, RT use was associated with ethnicity (Hispanic vs not) and Connect MM Registry cohort (cohort 1 [enrolled 2009-2011] vs 2 [enrolled 2012-2016]). In the 6 months before death, increased RT use was associated with increasing number of treatment lines (P < .0001) and high- versus standard-risk disease (per International Myeloma Working Group criteria; P = .0028). Conclusions: Real-world results from the Connect MM Registry show RT is frequently used and is associated with clinical factors, including performance status and disease stage. Earlier in MM diagnosis, RT may be used as an adjunct to palliate symptoms or delay systemic therapy. Toward the end of life, RT is more frequently used for palliation when treatment options are often limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e141-e149
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


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