MYELOMA, A DISEASE FROM WHICH GIOVANNI ALLEVI SUFFERS / What is it and symptoms “Treatable tumor …”

The multiple myelomathe disease from which he suffers Giovanni Allevi, until twenty years ago it was considered incurable. Today, however, there are good possibilities thanks to therapy and drugs. “Chemotherapy is no longer the main element of treatment, it is used in the first line of therapy in sequence with targeted drugs”, Explains Dr. Francesco Bertolinidirector of the hemato-oncology laboratory of the European Institute of Oncology.

No percentages are given on the chances of recovery, also because each patient has his particular shape and a particular ability to react, as well as his own clinical history, but the multiple myeloma, from which about 30 thousand patients suffer in Italy, is a disease against which the hemato-oncology sector has achieved encouraging results. “It is undoubtedly among the oncological pathologies where we have achieved the greatest therapeutic advances and the most relevant clinical responses”, Adds Bertolini. He also gained quality of life, thanks to targeted medications and the use of chemotherapy only for a short time. (adj. by Silvana Palazzo)


Giovanni Allevi has cancer. To the pianist was diagnosed with myelomawhich falls within the blood diseases. It is a tumor of the plasma cells, those of the immune system that are found in the bone marrow and produce antibodies. Hence, myeloma is part of the monoclonal gammopathies, alterations that cause plasma cells to start replicating in an uncontrolled way, producing many copies of the same antibody. The neoplastic, or malignant, form is multiple myeloma, which usually occurs in old age, after the age of 60, and rarely appears before the age of 40. Giovanni Allevi is 53 years old. THE symptoms of those with multiple myeloma are often bone pain and fractures. In fact, the musician had been complaining of severe back pain for days.

According to theItalian association of leukemia, lymphomas and myoloma (Ail), causes typical bone lesions caused by an imbalance between the bone production process and one of destruction attributable to myeloma plasma cells. But between the symptoms are counted anemia, asthenia and fatigue, due to the proliferation of plasma cells which compromises the normal production of blood cells. But there is also a risk of kidney failure due to the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the kidney. They rarely arise neurological symptomsdue to vertebral failure.


Often, however, the myeloma is asymptomatic, so it is discovered randomly in the course of routine analysis. There diagnosis of myeloma occurs, therefore, through laboratory analysis. The quantities of the various antibodies in the blood and urine are measured. But the diagnosis must then be confirmed by one bone marrow biopsy, to which diagnostic imaging tests such as radiography, magnetic resonance and PET can be added. The causes of myeloma are unknown, but the Merck Manual, one of the most authoritative medical guides, reports that frequency among close relatives may suggest a hereditary character. In addition, exposure to radiation, benzene and other solvents could cause the disease, while obesity is believed to be a risk factor.

As for the therapies, the myeloma is treated with a mix: alla chemotherapy corticosteroids and one or more are added medications between proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulators, selinexor nuclear export inhibitor or monoclonal antibodies. But the autologous stem cell transplant it is the optimal solution for patients who have optimal general conditions and age. There prognosis in recent years it has improved, therefore the chances of survival have increased. Through laboratory and genetic analyzes, the patient’s risk can be immediately estimated. Often the trend is chronic: patients can have periods of remission thanks to the therapies and relapses.


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MYELOMA, A DISEASE FROM WHICH GIOVANNI ALLEVI SUFFERS / What is it and symptoms “Treatable tumor …”

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