Amyloidosis is a rare and potentially fatal disease that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein usually produced by cells in your bone marrow that can be deposited in any tissue or organ. Amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, and there are many types of amyloid. Amyloidosis frequently affects your heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
Though there is no cure for amyloidosis, treatment can you manage this disease limit how much more amyloid protein your body makes. Treatments include:
- Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
- Medicines including melphalan (Alkeran, Alkeran IV), a chemotherapy drug also used to treat certain types of cancer, and dexamethasone, a steroid drug used for its anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers are investigating other types of chemotherapy to treat amyloidosis. Several medications used to treat multiple myeloma are being tested for amyloidosis treatment. These include bortezomib (Velcade), thalidomide (Thalomid), and a drug similar to thalidomide lenalidomide (Revlimid). Ask your doctor about clinical trials, which can give you a chance to try new medicines before the general public.