Soluble MICA as an independent prognostic factor for the overall survival and progression-free survival of multiple myeloma patients

Clin Immunol. 2007 Apr;123(1):114-20. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2006.11.007. Epub 2007 Jan 10.


Major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A (MICA) molecules are frequently expressed in lymphoproliferative malignancies including multiple myeloma (MM). MICA activates NK cells and co-stimulates T cells by interaction with its immunoreceptor NKG2D. In contrast, soluble MICA (sMICA) molecules impair the functions of NKG2D(+) T and NK cells, which may facilitate tumor cell escape from immunosurveillance. Here, we analyzed the clinical relevance of sMICA in 97 MM patients. sMICA (mean+/-SEM pg/ml) was significantly increased (p<0.0001) in patients (429+/-20) compared to controls (230+/-20; N=43). Serial determination showed a strong correlation between increments of sMICA and paraprotein levels (r=0.543, p<0.0001, N=49). sMICA levels >305 pg/ml are associated with a poor overall (p=0.004) and progression-free survival (p=0.002). Multivariate analysis revealed sMICA as an independent predictive factor for overall (p=0.007) and progression-free survival (p=0.002). Thus, our results suggest sMICA as a potent prognostic marker in MM, which may be useful to identify risk patients.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / blood*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / blood*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MHC class I-related chain A