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Plasma cytokines and immune markers were assessed during the clinical management of 42 patients with multiple myeloma, MM. Of the patients 22/42 (all with progressive disease) were studied from the time of diagnosis, through various treatment regimes, to remission, progression or death. 5/42 patients had monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), 8/42 others had either indolent MM or stable MM, and a further 7/42 with progressive disease were also studied. IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, beta 2 microglobulin (beta 2M), and neopterin were estimated in bloods taken under optimal conditions for cytokine detection. The levels were compared with a panel of samples from healthy volunteers. Both immunoreactive and biologically active plasma IL-6 levels were measured. Pretreatment IL-6 levels (both immunoreactive and biologically active) were found to correlate with severity of disease. In 13/22 patients with progressive disease who had been followed from the time of diagnosis over a 12-month period or until death, pretreatment IL-6 levels were predictive of response to therapy. Elevated plasma levels of TNF-alpha, beta 2M and neopterin were found in patients with progressive multiple myeloma, and this correlated with renal impairment. The analytes measured during the course of chemotherapy did not show correlation with disease progression or response to therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Hematol oncol

Publication Date





69 - 82


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biomarkers, Tumor, Biopterin, Cytokines, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6, Middle Aged, Multiple Myeloma, Neopterin, Predictive Value of Tests, Reference Values, Treatment Outcome, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, beta 2-Microglobulin