Multiple myeloma in Nigeria: a multi-centre epidemiological and biomedical study

  • Nkiruka Nnonyelum Odunukwe
  • Jude Anazoeze Madu
  • Obigeli Eunice Nnodu
  • Titilola Stella Akingbola
  • Inyama Marcus Asuquo
  • Modupe Taiwo Balogun
  • Olufunto Olufela Kalejaiye
  • John Chinawaeze Aneke
  • Joseph Aondowase Orkuma
  • Gwarzo Dalhat Gwarzo
  • Ujah Innocent Otobo
Keywords: Multiple myeloma, Nigeria, presentation, treatment modalities


Introduction: Myelomatosis is a malignant proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow, with  relatively high prevalence in African populations. Variation in genetic mutations has been observed in individual patients and may be responsible for differences in disease pattern and treatment outcomes. This study described the presentations and treatment outcomes of multiple myeloma in nigerian.

Methods: The data was obtained retrospectively from the case notes of 135 patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma from eight tertiary health institutions across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria from 2005 to 2014. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS 17.0.

Results: The predominant presentations were bone pain in 97 (74%), nephropathy in 47 (35.9%) and pathological fractures in 58 (44.3%). Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the patients were less than 60 years, and 35% had Bence Jones proteinuria. The overall survival beyond 6 months was 91.3%, mean duration of survival rate was 7.4 months. Majority (66.2%) were on Melphalan alone or on melphalan-containing combinations. A higher packed cell volume (PCV) and total serum protein levels at presentation were associated with increased survival, p=0.033 and 0.036, respectively.

Conclusion: This study portrayed the importance of detail investigation on the causes of bone pain and anaemia in person's aged 40 years and above. There is a high prevalence of nephropathy in this cohort of patients which needs to be further investigated. Majority of the patients, though < 65 years of age were placed on melphalan-containing combinations, which foreclosed chances of future autologous bone marrow transplantation.

Key words: Multiple myeloma, Nigeria, presentation, treatment modalities


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eISSN: 1937-8688