Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is mostly fatal neoplastic disorder, however, the median survival of 30-40 months does not adequately express the wide spectrum courses of the disease. Therefore better prognostic factors are needed.
Methods and results: We analyzed the value of both standard clinical features and cytokines for differential diagnosis, assessment of myeloma activity, prediction of overall survival and duration of remission in a group of 124 patients with MM and in 156 with various monoclonal gammapathies, respectively. The initial levels of Ca2+, LD, Hb, albumin, IL-6, PO4- and creatinine were useful for differentiation of monoclonal gammapathy of undetermined significance from MM. Serum IL-6 correlated with the stage and activity of MM, sIL-6R levels were significantly higher only in stage III and in newly diagnosed myeloma. We did not found the correlation between IL-6 and CRP levels. The usefulness of some standard features for prediction of survival was confirmed (Ca2+, Hb, clinical stage and subclassification A/B according to Durie-Salmon, SB2M > 4 mg/ml, creatinine, LD, ALP) as well as sIL-6R serum level determined both at time of diagnosis and during the course of disease. The prognosis of patients with reversible renal failure and those with intact renal function was not significantly different. Among other features, only serum sIL-6R, measured at time of diagnosis or during the course of disease, had significant predictive value for the assessment of duration of event-free survival in patients with MM.
Conclusion: Due to short follow-up possible association of high levels of IFN-gamma with better prognosis of MM could not be stated.