SMM - What You Need to Know
What is SMM?
Like MGUS, Smoldering myeloma (SMM) is a disorder of the blood. SMM is a more advanced stage of MGUS - it is classified as a pre-cancerous disease.
Similar to MGUS, the majority of patients who have SMM show no symptoms, however, the risk with SMM is that it progresses to Multiple Myeloma - a very aggressive type of cancer. This risk is higher than in patients with MGUS, with approximately half of patients with SMM progressing to Multiple Myeloma within five years.
How is SMM Currently Treated?
SMM patients that are deemed at high-risk of disease progression are now being advised to intervene with the latest myeloma therapies. Those patients deemed to be low to medium risk are advised of a "watch and wait" strategy.
This is a period of time which can be anything from one to more than twenty years, when you will have no treatment for your condition but rather you will be monitored by your treating medical practitioner. This "active monitoring" will usually be every 3-6 months.
This can be very worrying and frustrating for patients - living with the knowledge that you have your condition and waiting for it to worsen before something is actively done about it.
Is There a Better Way?
Early intervention with dietary modification and curcumin has been shown to improve outcomes in some patients with SMM.
MGUS Therapy's Terry Golombick has been running clinical trials for over 10 years. These trials show that key markers of the disease may improve with curcumin treatment. Patient tolerance has been good and none have developed clinical infections or toxicities. Many patients have been taking curcumin for over 5 years with some of these on curcumin therapy for more than 10 years (up to 15 years).
Recent research is showing that dietary modification can also improve outcomes for SMM patients - see blog!
Book a consultation now to understand your disease better and how it can be treated.
What about curcumin and multiple myeloma?
Patients whose disease has progressed from MGUS/SMM to active myeloma require treatment with anti-myeloma therapy as determined by their treating specialist.
Treatment regimens for multiple myeloma (MM) typically involve Dexamethasone (Dex), used in combination with either an immunomodulatory drug (ImiD) or a proteasome inhibitor (PI). Dex is a challenge due to adverse effects, particularly in elderly patients.
Our most recent study (2020) has shown that curcumin, when used in a combination regimen, may be a viable alternative to corticosteroids in combination with an ImiD or PI without the side effects typically caused by Dexamethasone. This is the first reported case series of patients with MM who have been treated with adjuvant curcumin as opposed to Dex in combination with other anti-myeloma agents