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Comment & Response
January 2019

Burden of Multiple Myeloma in Taiwan

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(1):116. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.5523

To the Editor Cowan et al1 explored the global burden of multiple myeloma (MM) from 1990 to 2016 and reported on the incidence, treatment choices, and frequency of stem cell transplant (SCT) worldwide. As a part of East Asia, Taiwan was reported to have an increase in MM incidence, and lenalidomide and bortezomib were approved for treatment of the disease.1 However, the frequency of SCT in Taiwan was not shown in Figure 2 of the study by Cowan et al.1 In Taiwan, at least 15 hospitals are performing SCT. Based on a survey from 2005, 7% of patients undergoing SCT were diagnosed with MM.2 By analyzing data from the longitudinal Taiwan Health Insurance Database from 2007 to 2015, Chang et al3 found that about 15.5% of patients with MM underwent SCT. Moreover, according to the Taiwan Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, the overall survival rate of patients with MM who underwent SCT was 76.9% at 3-year follow-up.4 We hope that this information is helpful to better understand the SCT status in Taiwan.