Clinical significance of the appearance of abnormal protein band in patients with multiple myeloma

Jae Cheol Jo, Dok Hyun Yoon, Shin Kim, Kyoungmin Lee, Eun Hee Kang, Seongsoo Jang, Chan Jeoung Park, Hyun Sook Chi, Jooryung Huh, Chan Sik Park, Cheolwon Suh

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10 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by clonal expansion of malignant bone marrow cells producing a unique monoclonal immunoglobulin. The appearance of abnormal protein band (APB) in MM has been reported during follow-up. We aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with APB in a single center cohort. A total of 377 consecutive MM patients were treated at the Asan Medical Center between January 2002 and December 2012. We compared clinical characteristics and survival outcome between those with and without APB. Of the 377 patients, 34 (9 %) experienced APB. They comprised 18.2 % (27/148) of patients treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and 3.1 % (7/229) of those not receiving ASCT. APB occurred after a median of 7.9 months (range, 2.2-95.7 months) from diagnosis. Immunoglobulin isotypes at diagnosis were as follows: IgG (n = 10), IgA (n = 8), IgD (n = 5), free κ (n = 4), and free λ (n = 7). Nine patients experienced a second APB. With a median follow-up of 54.1 months, the median overall survival (OS) has not been reached in patients with APB and was 38.3 months in patients without (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that the development of APB was a significant favorable prognostic factor for OS (hazard ratio 0.21; 95 % confidence interval 0.08-0.52). Serum β2-microglobulin, albumin, creatinine, and ASCT were also independent prognostic factors for OS. Further investigation is required to establish the mechanisms underlying APB in MM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Abnormal protein band
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Prognosis


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