Subcutaneous immunoglobulins in patients with multiple myeloma and secondary hypogammaglobulinemia: a randomized trial.
Multiple myeloma is commonly associated with a reduction of non-paraprotein immunoglobulins, resulting in a higher risk of infections that represent the leading cause of the patients' death. Therefore, immunoglobulin replacement therapy appears a logical approach. A total number of 46 myeloma patients were randomly enrolled: 24 of them were assigned to receive subcutaneous immunoglobulins, and 22 were controls. The primary endpoint was the evaluation of the annual rate of severe infections in immunoglobulins-receiving patients as compared with those untreated. Subcutaneous immunoglobulins-treated patients showed a significantly lower number of severe infections per year. Adverse events were limited to the site of infusion and were easily manageable. Health-related quality of life was significantly better in subcutaneous immunoglobulins-receiving patients.
By decreasing the rate of infections, the prophylactic administration of SCIg improves both adherence to chemotherapy and health-related quality of life, and is cost-effective by reducing the need of hospitalization and the use of antibiotics.