Detection of Malignant Cells in the Peripheral Blood of Patients With Multiple Myeloma: Clinical Implications and Research Applications

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6 Scopus citations


To review the methods for detecting and quantifying malignant cells in the peripheral blood (PB) and to correlate such cells with the activity of multiple myeloma (MM). Results of personal investigations and studies reported in the literature were summarized. MM is characterized by a monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Although usually clinically inapparent, these plasma cells can circulate in the PB and be detected by use of sensitive immunofluorescence, flow cytometric, or molecular genetic techniques. The detection of these cells is clinically important because they correlate with disease activity. As MM progresses, the plasma cells appear in greater numbers in the PB. When patients respond to chemotherapy, the number of circulating plasma cells decreases. Determining the molecular, immunologic, and morphologic characteristics of the circulating cells is important for improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of MM and deciding which cells to target therapeutically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-907
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994



  • ASO
  • CIg
  • ISC
  • LI
  • MGUS
  • MM
  • PB
  • PCR
  • SMM
  • allele-specific oligonucleotides
  • common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen
  • cytoplasmic immunoglobulin
  • immunoglobulin-secreting cells
  • labeling index
  • monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
  • multiple myeloma
  • peripheral blood
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • smoldering multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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