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Can Adult Leukemia Turn into Myeloma or Can You Have Both Simultaneously?

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Published on August 26, 2015

In this Ask the Expert segment featuring Dr. Robert Orlowski from MD Anderson Cancer Center, myeloma community member Carolyn asks, "Can a patient with an adult leukemia have their disease turn into myeloma or have both at the same time?" Dr. Orlowski answers the question and provides advice for seeking medical care if this occurs.

This Ask the Expert series is sponsored by the Patient Empowerment Network, which received funding from Celgene, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Takeda.

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Transcript | Can Adult Leukemia Turn into Myeloma or Can You Have Both Simultaneously?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

Now I’m a leukemia patient, so I’m very interested in a question that we got from Carolyn. She wrote in and said, “Can a patient with an adult leukemia have their disease turn into myeloma or have both at the same time?”

Dr. Orlowski:

It's sort of two separate questions.  The first one is whether leukemia can turn into myeloma.  There have been some cases described in the past of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which is often seen in adults that rarely seemed to transform into myeloma.  You also, unfortunately, can have some patients who develop both a leukemia as well as a myeloma. 

Fortunately, both of these instances are quite rare, and hopefully if the few patients that have this happen can be identified we can learn a little bit more about the processes involved. But I would definitely recommend that if you are one of these patients, that you seek a consult at a major myeloma center, because as you can imagine if you have two diseases at once the treatment is more complicated than if you have only one or the other. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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