Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Myeloma is often called multiple myeloma because most people (90%) have multiple bone lesions at the time it is diagnosed.

Bone marrow is found in throughout the body including the spine, skull, shoulders, ribs and pelvis. It is part of the immune system, which protects us from infection and disease.

Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow. They make immunoglobulins, which are also known as antibodies. Immunoglobulins circulate in the blood and attack any viruses and bacteria in the body. In people with myeloma abnormal plasma cells spread throughout the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells.

Myeloma Australia has a range of support information or view the Leukaemia Foundation information on myeloma and Cancer Council Australia information the optimal care pathways for myeloma – what to expect.

Patient stories

Everyone reacts differently

Being diagnosed with cancer can be an overwhelming experience, no matter who you are or what cancer you have.

Take control

Take control of your cancer treatment journey. Ask questions and do not be afraid to ask for help.

You're not alone

There is a team of professionals to help you through the emotional and practical aspects of your treatment.

(Disclaimer: All patient stories are based on real life experiences as told to us. The stories are portrayed by actors to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients.)


Your doctor may recommended this test as the best way to find out important information about your illness and to determine the best course of treatment.

Some of the reasons why your doctor may need this information include:

  • To determine the cause of irregular blood results.
  • To determine the presence or development of a blood disorder.
  • To monitor your response to treatment.

The reasons for your test will be discussed with you by your referring doctor.

Bone Marrow Examination

A bone marrow test is to see whether there are cancer cells in your bone marrow. There are two main types of bone marrow test – a bone marrow aspiration and a bone marrow biopsy. Find out what to expect.


Bone Marrow Examination Brochure

What is chemotherapy?

  • Chemotherapy is a term for a large number of drugs with different methods of working and different side effects. It is used to improve the chance of cure or to control the growth of cancer cells.

Managing side effects

We’ve created some short videos to help you understand the chemotherapy process. Although these have been filmed at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital you will go through a similar process at other facilities.

Coming for your chemotherapy

There are a number of things you’ll need to know for you first visit for chemotherapy. Your doctor will review any tests and scans and discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with you. Don’t forget to bring your scans and test results. You’ll also need a blood test before each visit. This video shows a typical session at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, but you will go through a similar process at other facilities.

Your chemotherapy treatment

This video shows a typical chemotherapy treatment session at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, but you will go through a similar process at other facilities. You will learn about the process and the safety procedures we use to make sure your treatment is as effective and safe as possible.


Waste products at home

CADD Pumps

If you have a Central Venous Access Device

What is radiation therapy?

  • Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays (called ionising radiation) to treat cancer.

We’ve created a short video to help you understand the radiation therapy process. Be sure to ask you treatment team for more information if you have any questions or concerns.

Total Body Irradiation

Total Body Irradiation, or TBI, is radiation therapy on the whole body used primarily as part of the preparation for stem cell or bone marrow transplantation. This video will help you, your family and friends understand more about TBI and take you through the typical process you will go through during treatment. TBI is delivered on Level 3 Joyce Tweddell Building, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Nurse and young patient

Radiotherapy for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients

This video gives an overview of what radiotherapy will be like at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Your treatment may vary depending on your treatment needs. Young people with a treatment experience of radiotherapy offer their advice and guidance on what it is like and tips on how to stay well during treatment.

Managing side effects

Targeted therapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. The treatment works by selectively targeting particular types of cancer cells while minimising harm to normal, healthy cells.

Targeted therapies can be used for different reasons and may be used instead of, or in combination with chemotherapy. Not all cancers respond to targeted therapies, and some of these therapies are only available in clinical trials.

Cancer Council Queensland resources

As part of your cancer journey you may see one or more of our Allied Health professionals.

Cancer research

Cancer care Services has an active research program through our collaboration with a range of world-class research organisations.

QIMR Berghofer

QIMR Berghofer is one of Australia’s most successful medical research institutes and conducts extensive research on different cancer types.  Metro North HHS and QIMR Berghofer partner on a range of cancer studies through our hospitals and our membership of Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners.

Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners

Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners is an academic health science network. Its members include hospital and health services, primary care, universities and medical research institutes who collectively take local and international research and accelerate its application to new treatments across the spectrum of health care.

Herston Imaging Research Facility (HIRF)

Located at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, HIRF has been purpose-built to facilitate imaging research and clinical trials. Its state of the art clinical scanners and prime location within Australia’s largest hospital precinct position it as a leading global force in clinical imaging research.

Australian Cancer Research Foundation

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation provides news, information and leading opinions on treatment, prevention, diagnosis and cure.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials test new treatments to find better ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Both healthy people and people with a disease or condition can volunteer to be part of a trial.

Cancer Care Services participate in a range of clinical trials at our hospitals. For information about any of the trials below, ask your doctor or nurse.

For information about clinical trials in general visit the Australian Clinical Trials website or search the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.

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