We studied 190 patients with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) at our institution between 1973 and 2014. Evolving change in monoclonal protein level (eMP) was defined as ⩾10% increase in serum monoclonal protein (M) and/or immunoglobulin (Ig) (M/Ig) within the first 6 months of diagnosis (only if M-protein ⩾3 g/dl) and/or ⩾25% increase in M/Ig within the first 12 months, with a minimum required increase of 0.5 g/dl in M-protein and/or 500 mg/dl in Ig. Evolving change in hemoglobin (eHb) was defined as ⩾0.5 g/dl decrease within 12 months of diagnosis. A total of 134 patients (70.5%) progressed to MM over a median follow-up of 10.4 years. On multivariable analysis adjusting for factors known to predict for progression to MM, bone marrow plasma cells ⩾20% (odds ratio (OR)=3.37 (1.30-8.77), P=0.013), eMP (OR=8.20 (3.19-21.05), P<0.001) and eHb (OR=5.86 (2.12-16.21), P=0.001) were independent predictors of progression within 2 years of SMM diagnosis. A risk model comprising these variables was constructed, with median time to progression of 12.3, 5.1, 2.0 and 1.0 years among patients with 0-3 risk factors respectively. The 2-year progression risk was 81.5% in individuals who demonstrated both eMP and eHb, and 90.5% in those with all three risk factors.
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