What is the treatment for amyloidosis in a third of the lung?
I wish I could give you a clear and simple answer, but treatment depends on what form of the amyloidosis is involved.
Amyloidosis is a disorder of the blood plasma cells, which produce an abnormal protein called amyloid that collects in various tissues. Amyloid isn’t normally found in the body and its presence can have severe effects on the organs where it occurs. The kidneys, heart, digestive tract and nervous system are the most typical sites for amyloidosis. The lungs are far less common.
There are more than a dozen types of amyloidosis. Primary amyloidosis, which is the most prevalent, has no known cause, although it sometimes occurs in conjunction with multiple myeloma, a cancer that causes tumors to form in the bone marrow. Chronic infection or several types of inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may cause secondary amyloidosis.
In some cases, amyloidosis may not require treatment. When an underlying cause is identified, treatment for that condition may ease the amyloidosis. When there is no known cause, treatment may focus on alleviating the symptoms. Chemotherapy with a drug called melphalan has been used with some success to treat primary amyloidosis. The steroid drug, prednisone, may also be used.
Research and experimental treatments are progressing in a few centers around the country.