Clinicopathological and prognostic characteristics of CD56-negative multiple myeloma

Br J Haematol. 2002 Jun;117(4):882-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.2002.03513.x.


We analysed CD56 expression in 70 patients with multiple myeloma (MM) to determine its clinicopathological and prognostic significance. Fifty-five (79%) patients were CD56+. CD56- patients (n = 15) had higher beta2 microglobulin levels and a higher incidence of extramedullary disease, Bence Jones protein, renal insufficiency and thrombocytopenia than CD56+ patients. Their myelomas more frequently had a plasmablastic morphology. Overall survival was significantly lower in CD56- than CD56+ patients (22 vs 63 months, P = 0.0002). We conclude that CD56- MM is a discrete entity associated with more aggressive disease. The higher incidence of plasmablastic cases suggested that CD56- MM may develop from a less mature plasma cell than CD56+ MM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bence Jones Protein / analysis
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology*
  • CD56 Antigen / analysis*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Plasma Cells
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / analysis


  • CD56 Antigen
  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Bence Jones Protein