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Multiple myeloma (MM), the second most common type of blood cancer, is now recognized as a genetically complex and heterogeneous disease. As well as a variable clinical presentation, response to treatment and survival remains heterogeneous, with some patients with MM living for 1–2 years whilst others are alive and progression-free at 10 years. This variation in outcome is due to patient characteristics as well as biologic features of MM.

As a result of recent advances in diagnosis and therapy, there has been a dramatic improvement in the outcome of MM in the last decade. However, MM remains an incurable disease, with relapses and resistances frequently observed, probably due to the genomic complexity and clonal evolution of MM over the course of treatment. Recognizing the heterogeneity in the biology and clinical presentation of patients with newly diagnosed MM, current clinical investigations are moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ treatment paradigm to both risk- and response-adaptive strategies.

This themed collection features a selection of recent full-text articles and chapters from the Springer Nature portfolio that focus on the biologic features of MM, advances in our understanding of the genomic complexity of MM and its clinical implications, and state-of-art diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Over time this collection will be enhanced by the addition of specially commissioned articles and resources that provide further guidance to healthcare practitioners, as well as selected full-text articles sourced from other prominent publishers.