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Predictors of return to work after autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma


Return to work (RTW) is a marker of functional recovery in cancer patients, with quality of life, financial and social implications. We investigated frequency and factors associated with RTW in a cohort of patients younger than 66 years, with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), uniformly treated with a bortezomib-based induction followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Socio-economic and working status data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire. One hundred and eighty-six patients entered the study. Of whom, 145 (78%) where employed at diagnosis, which was more frequent in younger (median 55 vs. 60 years, p < 0.001), men (59.3% vs. 34.2%, p = 0.004), and with college studies (44.8% vs. 24.4%, p = 0.008). Forty-three (30%) of the 145 patients who had a job at diagnosis, RTW after ASCT in a median of 5 (range 1–27) months. Factors independently associated with RTW were having three or more children (HR 2.87, 95% CI 1.33–6.18), college studies (HR 2.78, 95% CI 1.21–6.41), and a family income >40 × 103€/year (HR 2.31, 95% CI 1.12–4.78). In conclusion, the frequency of RTW herein reported in MM patients seems lower than reported in other malignancies. The risk factors observed may guide the design RTW programs.

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Fig. 1: Cumulative incidence of RTW.
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This study was supported in part by grants 2017 SGR 1395 from the Catalan Government and RD16/0011/0028 Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain.

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MGr and AB designed the study. MGr, AS, M-TC, MGi, JL-P, CM, AG-G, EA, RB-A, J-MM, JS, CFL, AO, and LR identified candidates to the study, obtained informed consent, and collected data. MGr and RM analyzed and interpreted data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version.

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Correspondence to Miquel Granell or Anna Barata.

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Granell, M., Senín, A., Barata, A. et al. Predictors of return to work after autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma. Bone Marrow Transplant 56, 2904–2910 (2021).

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