NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
• Serum quantitative immunoglobulins measures the
amount of each class of antibodies in the blood to
see if any are abnormally high or low.
• Serum free light chain assay measures the number
of free light chains in the blood. This test is helpful
when it isn’t possible to measure the amount of
M-protein found with SPEP or in urine (see page 15).
• Beta-2 microglobulin is a small protein made by
various cells, including myeloma cells. High levels
may be a sign of advanced myeloma.
• LDH (
ydrogenase) is a protein made
by myeloma cells. High levels may be a sign of
• Albumin is the main protein in blood plasma. Low
levels of this protein may be a sign of advanced
• A CBC (
ount) measures the
number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and
platelets. As myeloma cells take over bone marrow,
too few normal blood cells are made.
• HLA (
ntigen) is a set of proteins
on the surface of white blood cells. These proteins
help the body to identify its own cells from foreign
cells. The type of HLA differs among people just like
blood types differ among people. HLA typing is a test
that finds a person’s HLA type. HLA typing is done
before treatment that transfers blood stem cells from
one person to the patient (See Part 3.3). It’s very
important that their HLA types are a near-perfect
match for this treatment to work. This is because the
HLA type affects how the immune system responds
to foreign substances.
• High levels of calcium may be a sign of myeloma
• High levels of creatinine may be a sign of
• High levels of BUN (
itrogen) may be a
sign of kidney damage.
• High levels of electrolytes such as sodium,
potassium, and calcium may be a sign of kidney
• A large amount of M-proteins in your blood can
increase blood thickness (viscosity) and damage
the kidneys and other organs. Serum viscosity
is a blood test that measures the thickness of
2.2 Blood tests